With the festive season upon us, Santa has managed to find time in his busy schedule to switch on the Christmas lights in a number of towns around the Causeway Coast and Glens.
Festive entertainment is planned in each town or village to celebrate his arrival, including music, cuddly characters, DJ’s, live bands and carol singing from local choirs.
Santa will also distribute a small pre-Christmas gift to children who are primary school age and below and accompanied by an adult.
He’ll be accompanied on his journey by the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Maura Hickey.
She said: “Myself and Santa will be stopping off in nine separate locations, and I am very excited for the festive celebrations that are planned for the towns and villages across the Borough. Christmas is a special time of the year and I hope everyone will come along to the festivities to help get the season off to a fantastic start! Santa and I are very much looking forward to meeting everyone along the way as we stop off and we hope that all the children have a really magical and safe Christmas.”
First stop is Ballymoney town centre on Thursday 17th November. Festivities will begin at 6.30pm with Beatz Entertainments handing over the stage to carol singing from a local primary school choir. Santa will be arriving on a festive truck with special guests The Dunlop Brothers around 7.10pm in order to turn on the lights, alongside the Mayor at 7.30pm. Santa’s schedule continues as he makes his way to his Grotto where he will distribute gifts to the children. Local band ‘Picture the Sound’ will then take to the stage to entertain the crowd.
Limavady will be lit up on Saturday 19th November. The entertainment takes place at Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre with live band ‘Men in Black’ kick starting the fun at 3.30pm. The Mayor will accompany Santa on his journey around the town on his trusted Clydesdale horses and will arrive just in time to turn on the lights at 4.00pm. The music will then continue whilst Santa takes up residence in the Auditorium to give out his presents.
Coleraine town centre is next in Santa’s diary with the switch on taking place on Friday 25th November. The fun begins at The Diamond area at 6.00pm with Beatz Entertainment, assisted by a local primary school who will be singing Christmas carols to add to the atmosphere. The Good King Wencelas Parade will accompany the Mayor, Santa and his Clydesdale horses through the town to the Diamond area. Here, Santa and the Mayor will dismount and switch on the lights at 7.00pm before Santa makes his way to the Grotto to hand out gifts to all in the Santa queue. At this point, the crowd will be entertained by local band The Groove Robbers.
The next town to be lit up will be Dungiven on Saturday 26th November where the DJ will commence at 5.30pm at Dungiven Community Centre. Santa and the Mayor will arrive on his Clydesdale horses in time for the lights switch on at 6.00pm. The DJ will keep the crowd amused while the children queue up to see Santa and receive their special Christmas parcel.
Following a couple of days rest, Santa will be taking off again on his trusted Clydesdale horses to the seaside town of Ballycastle on Thursday 1st December. The night will start with the interdenominational Community Carol Service organised by Ballycastle Church Action from 6.30-6.50pm. Beatz Entertainment will be entertaining the crowds from 6.30pm. The Mayor and Santa will arrive at the stage about 7.15pm. Once the lights are switched on Santa will make his way to the Grotto to distribute gifts to the children.
Staying at the seaside, he will then visit the town of Portrush on Friday 2nd December. Local entertainer Brian Moore will commence the evening at 6.30pm at Station Square with the help of local primary school choirs. All this carol singing will get us in the mood for Santa who will be arriving with the Mayor on the Clydesdale horses ready to turn on the lights at 7.30pm. Once the lights are turned on the children may queue to see Santa in his festive themed grotto.
The festivities continue the very next day in the market town of Kilrea. Entertainment will begin at 4.00pm with carol singing under the tree from local primary schools who will be belting out some festive tunes. Santa and the Mayor will make their way to the stage to switch on the lights at 5.00pm before Santa returns to his Grotto to meet the excited children who have come to see him.
Next in Santa and the Mayor’s busy schedule is a stop in Garvagh on Monday 5th December. The entertainment kicks off at 6.30pm. Carol singing will be provided by local primary schools in anticipation of the Christmas lights switch-on at 7.30pm. Santa will then take up residence in his grotto to hand out some small gifts to the children.
The last stop in the borough is Portstewart on Saturday 10th December. The fun and games begin here with Brian Moore at 4.00pm. Festive characters will help add to the atmosphere before the arrival of the Mayor and Santa, with the light switch on scheduled for 5.00pm. The entertainment on stage will continue while Santa gives out special Christmas packages from his grotto.
We hope to see you all there, enjoying the festivities and getting into the Christmas spirit!