Categories: Press Release

Santa Claus will make a special visit to Derry this Sunday to lead a magical procession through the city centre to switch on the Christmas lights.

The procession begins at Bishop Street at 6pm and finishes in Custom House Street after passing by the Guildhall where the biggest Christmas tree in Ireland, standing at 60 feet tall, will be illuminated for the first time and a second tree will be lit in Harbour Square.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy, will lead the parade along with Father Christmas and the lights will be illuminated as the procession passes through.

They will be joined by a number of festive characters, bespoke Christmas themed mobile installations and local dance groups.

“I can’t wait to take part in the parade and see our beautiful city lit up for the first time,” said Mayor Duffy.

“The excitement has been building around the city all week with the erection of the huge trees around the town centre and Council’s maintenance and electrical teams have been working hard to ensure the city is sparkling on Sunday evening.

“We had huge crowds at the Halloween parade this year and I hope it will be the same on Sunday for what will be the official start of Christmas 2022.”

The full parade route for Sunday is Bishop Street, The Diamond, Ferryquay Street, Orchard Street, Foyle Street, Guildhall Square and Custom House Street.

Those attending are urged to line the route to get a view of the parade rather than congregating in Guildhall Square where large crowds are expected.

The Guildhall Craft Fair and the switch on events in Strabane and Derry this weekend mark the start of Council’s Christmas programming.

The Magic of Christmas programme includes the renowned Walled City Christmas Markets, the Mayor's Magical Christmas Experience and the return of the Christmas Winterland Markets.