Christmas is coming…

Santa will be appearing in Strabane for the big switch-on on November 24.

THE new Autumn school term may only be a matter of weeks old, but already plans are afoot for festive celebrations in Strabane.

This year, the big Christmas lights switch-on will take place in Abercorn Square on Saturday November 24, and as is normally the case, the Man in Red is expected to pay the town a visit.

“The Christmas light switch-on event in Strabane is a full day of activity with events throughout the town centre culminating with the festive parade, Santa visit and switch on,” a report to council’s Business and Culture committee explained last week.

Correspondingly, the Strabane Christmas Fayre will return on Sunday December 3. This is a community lead event that council supports across many departments bringing “a real sense of community and Christmas spirit at a key weekend in Strabane town” and will featuring local food and craft market stalls, shopping and festive entertainment. 
“After the success of the Christmas Community activity in 2018 officers have made contact with the various representatives in the five neighborhood renewal areas including Strabane to work up a programme that would complement the overall Christmas offer,” the report from the Festivals and Events manager  explained to councillors.
“It is recommended that a maximum of £3,000 grant from the overall Christmas budget will be awarded to each of these areas to provide complementary programming.  While this was a one off grant at Christmas in 2017 due to the success of the activities officers recommend that this activity be extended for the 2018 Christmas period with the condition that it provides quality Christmas programming that complements the overall city and district offer.”

It continued, “Traditionally a grant of £1,000 has been given to communities in Castlederg, Newtonstewart and Sion Mills, it is recommended that this is continued (this has been allowed for in overall budget).”

All told, this year’s total Christmas budget spend will top £78,300  with a marketing budget of £20,000.



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