Thousands of people of all ages lined the streets of Lisburn city centre on Thursday evening to watch Mayor Tim Morrow and special VIP guest Santa light up the city’s Christmas tree and glittering street lights.
Despite the cold weather, the crowd were kept entertained by dazzling stilt walkers, festive characters and South Eastern Regional College (SERC) Performing Arts students. Music was provided by a Christmas samba band, a concert band and Lisburn Community Children’s Choir got everyone in the festive spirit with a beautiful performance of popular Christmas carols.
Introducing a new element to the event this year, a ‘Cinderella’ pantomime proved a popular addition with the younger audience and the lantern parade involving local schoolchildren and community groups illuminated the city’s streets as it made its way to the stage at Market Square.
Speaking at the event, Councillor Morrow said: “It was great to see so many people come together to join us in this wonderful family celebration. For many this marks the start of the festive season in our city and the council is very proud to make the area as festive as possible so we can attract shoppers and visitors. There are a number of other Christmas events and promotions planned for the city centre in the run up to Christmas so please keep an eye on our social media for details.”
Chairman of the Leisure & Community Development Committee, Alderman James Tinsley also attended the event. He said: “I would like to thank the local primary schools - Ballymacash, Tonagh, Oakwood Integrated and Seymour Hill - as well as Gransha Girls’ Brigade and Gransha Boys’ Brigade for taking part in the lantern parade. They have worked hard over the last few weeks creating their beautiful lanterns and they are extremely proud to display them to the crowds gathered here tonight.
“The city now looks the part for this extra special time of the year. Thank you to everyone who came along and contributed to the fantastic community atmosphere and Christmas spirit.”