Categories: Press Release

Derry City and Strabane District Council will kick off their 2023 Christmas celebrations this weekend when the eagerly anticipated Guildhall Craft Fair returns to the city.

The 27th edition of the annual three day event will feature 45 crafters and producers who will present their wares to thousands of visitors from Friday November 17th until Sunday November 19th.

The Craft Fair marks the start of a comprehensive programme of Christmas events across the City and District that includes festive processions to turn on the Christmas lights in Derry and Strabane on 24th and 25th of November and the Mayor’s Countdown to Christmas event in Guildhall Square on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd December.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Patricia Logue, will officially open the Fair on Friday and she encouraged the public to use the opportunity to source locally made gifts this Christmas.

“The Guildhall Craft Fair is renowned within the Irish craft industry for the high standard of artists and crafters it showcases each year,” she said.

"I am delighted that as a Council we are able to provide such a bespoke platform for this incredible sector at a local, regional and national level showcasing the talent, craftmanship and creativity on offer for people to purchase as unique gifts for their loved ones or indeed themselves!

“A unique part of any thriving economy and society is its local business sector and the Christmas season and indeed this event, offers people the opportunity for people to support their local town and buisinesses.

"Rising costs mean it can be a real challenge to start up and sustain a small business at the moment so I'd appreciate if people can make a conscious effort to support our crafters and the economy by gifting local this Christmas.

“Even the smallest purchase can make a big difference to every young and modest sized initiative."

Helena Hasson, Festival and Events Coordinator at Derry City and Strabane District Council, said the Fair will feature a number of exciting new exhibitors from Derry and Strabane’s thriving local craft scene.

“This year’s event will feature an extensive range of gift ideas from bespoke jewellery and ceramics to beautiful woven textiles, knitwear, leather household and fashion accessories, glassware, eclectic lamps, mixed media, treats and eats.

“Return visitors will have their favourite stands to admire but the event will also feature new and upcoming talent with no less than 16 new businesses premiering their goods, many of whom are recent start-ups.

“In addition to the beautiful goods and gifts on display, people love the weekend for its festive atmosphere encouraged in no small way by a host of local choirs taking to the famous Guildhall Main Hall stage with carols and Christmas songs galore.”

Opening Times for the Fair are Friday 17th November: 12noon - 8pm, Saturday 18th November: 10am - 6pm, Sunday 19th November: 11am - 6pm.

The Fair marks the start of a packed programme of events to celebrate Christmas in Derry and Strabane, visit for more.