Towns get ready to throw switch on festive season

Towns get ready to throw switch on festive season

15 November 2023

DOWNPATRICK’S Christmas lights will be switched on early next month.

The festive lighting will light up the town centre when the switch is thrown on Sunday, December 3, during an afternoon of fun in St Patrick’s Square between noon and 6pm.

Ballynahinch’s Christmas lights will be switched on the previous evening in the town square during festive celebrations between 6pm and 9pm.

Elsewhere, Newcastle’s festive lights will light up the town on Saturday, November 25, with Killyleagh’s lights switched on the following day.

Dundrum’s lights will be switched on Friday, December 1 at 7pm, with the switch thrown in Newcastle the same evening.

In the wake of the recent devastating flooding, Newry, Mourne and Down Council is encouraging residents to rally around and support impacted business owners impacted by flooding to improve morale and l commerce town centres. 

Council chairwoman, Valerie Harte, said the switch-on events are a time for communities to come together and celebrate the magic of the holiday season.

“There really is no better place to start the festivities than in your local community supporting your own traders,” she said.

“We are mindful of both the ongoing flooding recovery process and our commitment to supporting the traders who have reopened – a testament to the unwavering resilience of our businesses.”

Mrs Harte said supporting local commerce at Christmas time has always been a council priority.  She continued: “Businesses and traders are an integral part of our communities as they provide local jobs and services and its important that we get behind them.

“This year, now more than ever, we invite everyone to get the dates in your diary and come along to your local switch on event.” 

On Sunday, December 3, St Patrick’s Square in Downpatrick will be the focal point for the Christmas lights switch on festivities.

People are encouraged to come early from 3.30pm to soak up the atmosphere at a special Christmas artisan market. 

Businesses that have been impacted by the flood in Market Street, St Patrick’s Avenue and the surrounding area will be offered a stall and any shops that are able to open are encouraged to do so.   

There will be family and street entertainment, live DJ music followed by Abba Sensations and Santa will assist the council chairwoman Harte to switch on the lights at 6pm.