DOWNPATRICK will come alive this festive season with characters from Christmases Past, Present and Future, as part of Christkindl Festival’s `A Christmas Carol’ theme, and the launch of a wonderful series of festive events across the district including the official Christmas Switch-On of the Christmas lights on Friday 30 November from 6.30pm in St Patrick’s Square.
St Patrick’s Square and Market Street, Downpatrick will light up with music, performers, and a magical lantern parade by local school children and scout group alongside the Arts and Design students from the South Eastern Regional College which will wind its way to the Festival Stage and hopefully lead Santa to the Christmas Tree for the spectacular `Switch On’.
Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Mickey Coogan, launched the festival programme with the help of Peter Jones and Ryan Meehan, both Arts and Design Students from South Eastern Regional College, Downpatrick Campus, and said, “The district is preparing for the arrival of Santa and I would encourage everyone to support their local traders in the run up to Christmas in this current challenging economic period.
“I hope that the Christmas Switch-On in Downpatrick, and across the district, reminds us of the need to think about everyone in our communities, including those less fortunate, and if possible help in some small way to ensure everyone has a peaceful and joyful Christmas.”
Downtown Radio’s Gary Myles and Kirstie McMurray from the Breakfast Show, will host the evening event on 30 November, entertaining the crowds with festive music, fun and plenty of prizes as they guide you through the fabulous celebratory fun on offer.
From Friday 30 November, and every Saturday during December, The Saint Patrick Centre will play host to Santa in his magical grotto, where children can meet Santa and also be able to post their letters in the post box to make sure Santa remembers their wish. Lecale Choir will be joining in the Christmas festivities on Saturday 1 December with a musical performance in Daisies Cafe so come along and enjoy the music and mince pies.
We will also have ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ at The Great Hall, Downshire Estate on Friday 30 November, so don’t miss out and remember to book on 028 4461 0747. The ever popular Lapland Express at the County Down Railway returns on Saturday 1 December, and then every Saturday and Sunday until 23 December. Children will have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus on board his steam train, travel and sing Christmas songs and have a one-to-one meeting with him. For full details visit www.downrail.co.uk.
On Saturday 8 December, Down County Museum have lots in store including the chance to find out how Christmas is celebrated around the world, enjoy music, song and children’s shows, plus that all important visit from Santa while Down Cathedral will once again play host to the Down High and the Community Carol Service on Monday 24 December with midnight communion at 11.30pm.
Please note that due to an error in the festival programme the following events should read as follows:-
Friday 21 December – Christingle Carole Service in Down Parish Church at 5pm
Monday 24 December – Free Christmas Mystery Movie in Eclipse Cinema at 10am
Monday 24 December – Community Carol Service in Down Cathedral at 7.30pm
Monday 24 December – Midnight Communion in Down Cathedral at 11.30pm
With lots of festive events and village switch-on’s across the district check out the details in this year’s Christkindl Festival programme or contact the Festival Office on 028 4461 2233 or visit www.downdc.gov.uk | www.facebook.com/DownFestivals