Virtual Christmas lights switch-on next weekend

ONE of the highlights of Christmas will take place on a virtual setting this year when Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Brian Tierney, performs the festive lights switch-ons by magic, alongside Santa Claus.

The event traditionally attracts thousands of people to the town centre but it will be broadcast online this year to allow the public to enjoy it from the safety of their homes.

The switch-ons will take place on Saturday November 21st at 5pm in Strabane and will be broadcast live on and the Mayor’s social media accounts.


The event will mark the start of Council’s Christmas Programming for 2020 which includes the Mayor’s Virtual Christmas Tea Dance and online Christmas activities for families.

“The turning on of our Christmas lights is normally one of our biggest events of the year, marking the beginning of the festive season,” said Mayor Tierney.

“While current restrictions mean we can’t gather physically to mark it, I am delighted that families can still experience the lights being turned on together in their homes before making a trip into our retail centres over the festive season to view them safely for themselves.

“The kids are sure to enjoy this magical virtual story and see the adventures along the way, of how my journey with Santa Claus’ journey unfolded in order to get to the town and city in time to light them up for Christmas.”

Council has invested in additional Christmas lights and trees which have been erected in communities throughout the District.

Some of the lights may be temporarily turned on before the official switch on for testing and to allow for filming of the virtual event.

The full series of Christmas videos will be available at

For more detailed information and updates on Derry City and Strabane District Council’s family-friendly Christmas programme visit

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