Walls to light up again as Advent approaches

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The spotlight will be on Derry’s historic walls this weekend as the Sound of Light Festival Trail illuminates the ramparts for a magical festive celebration.

Organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council the Sound of Light is one of the highlights of this year’s Christmas programme and will showcase some of the city’s most recognisable landmarks in a completely new way from Friday, November 27 – Saturday, November 28.

Speaking ahead of the event Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said it was a great way to get into the festive spirit.

“I know this will be a fantastic event and the Walled City provides the perfect atmospheric backdrop for our Christmas celebration of light.

“We saw great crowds for the Awakening the Walls at Hallowe’en, and this event will no doubt be just as well received. I would encourage everyone to come along this weekend and experience the city in a completely different light.”

The Sound of Light festival will begin with a magical procession which will make its way through the city centre from 6pm on Friday evening featuring a whole host of colourful Christmas characters brought to life by production company LUXE.

The trail will weave through the streets leaving from Bishop Street carpark, making its way through the Cathedral Quarter, then via Pump Street and Ferryquay Street and down through the city centre until it reaches the Guildhall Square, before finally stopping at Union Hall Place. The Guildhall Square will also host a special festive market throughout the weekend, from Friday to Monday.

On Saturday evening a special light trail along the Walls will begin at St Columb’s Cathedral, running from 5pm – 9pm. Here in the Cathedral Grounds the illuminating theme will be ‘Reflection’ and visitors can look back over 2015 and contemplate their hopes for the future. Inside the Cathedral enjoy a beautiful organ recital by candlelight. From here follow the trail through Bishop Street, Magazine Street, Guildhall Square, the Peace garden, the East Wall and finish in Pump Street when you will have experienced a wondrous series of performances and spectacles.

Festivals and Events Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council Karan Leonard said she was delighted to introduce the trail as a new element to this year’s Festive Time programme. “The Walled City is an enchanting place with absolutely stunning walls, some architectural gems, and lots of hidden nooks lending themselves perfectly to coming to life in the Sound of Light trail.

“The Sound of Light is perfect for families looking for something a bit different to enjoy in the build up to Christmas - it’s a great way for visitors to experience the city’s beautiful built heritage and history first hand.”

There is something for everyone on the Sound of Light trail with a number of performances and shows also be taking place throughout the weekend, with screenings of Derry’s own favourite animation Puffins Rock for the little ones in the Garden of Reflection and a series of live musical performances at various venues. The Memorial Hall will host the much anticipated Roy Arbuckle production ‘The Fountain – the Musical’ charting the fascinating history of the area. Meanwhile Best Boy Grip and Declan McLaughlin will feature at St Augustine’s Church at 6.30pm on Saturday, while some of the fresh new Sync talent will be performing in Cafe Nervosa, as well as choirs and musicians scattered throughout the city. There is also an opportunity to join the sound of light cycle leaving from Waterloo Place.

For more information on the Sound of Light trail and the full programme of events for the weekend go to www.festivetime.com