With Christmas just a matter of weeks away, the festive season will kick off with the annual Christmas lights switch on ceremony in Market Square, Lisburn on Thursday, November 16.
The ever-popular family event will include pre-parade entertainment from 6pm by Lisburn Cathedral Community Choir, festive characters, a ‘Cinderella’ Pantomime on the main stage and a lantern parade involving local schoolchildren through the city centre.
“I am looking forward to welcoming thousands to this annual event; and switching on the city’s Christmas lights with Santa once the parade has passed the stage area at 7.15pm,” Mayor Tim Morrow commented. “This year there are a few programme changes and we hope that everyone enjoys them.
“The parade will leave from Bow Street Mall this year and move up Antrim Street along Bow Street before continuing round the city centre back to Bow Street Mall.”
He continued: “The Cinderella pantomime by Mr Hullabaloo should be very popular with our younger residents and it will be on the main stage from 6.30pm - 7pm. Please be advised that there will be limited viewing so come to Market Square early to get a good place. There will be a festive atmosphere on the evening and families are encouraged to come along and enjoy the evening from 6pm.”
With a change of parade route this year, the council is reminding residents that the procession will start at Antrim Street after leaving Bow Street Mall. It will return to the Mall after going through the city centre and along Market Place.
Cllr Morrow added: “The council is delighted that SERC’s Performing Arts students will be part of the event as they distribute giveaways to the crowd. Local young people from 1st Granshaw Boys’ Brigade Junior Section, 348th NI Girls’ Brigade, Ballymacash Primary School, Oakwood Integrated Primary School, Seymour Hill Primary School and Tonagh Primary School will take part in the Lantern Parade, carrying their homemade lanterns, accompanied by professional carnival performers.”
Santa Claus will also be making an appearance to wish all the boys and girls a very Merry Christmas.
Those planning to drive to the event are advised to park in one of the city centre car parks before joining the festivities in Bow Street and Market Square.
The newly refurbished Graham Gardens Car Park is offering free car parking from 5.30pm to 9pm for those attending the switch on event.
The council has urged local residents to keep an eye on its Facebook and Twitter accounts for all the latest about the event, as well as information about its Switch On Competition.
For more information contact the council on 028 9250 9558.