Christmas will officially begin in Derry this week when the festive lights are switched on by a ‘very special guest’ in Guildhall Square – Thursday 23 November from 6-8pm.

‘Santa’ will be making the long trip from the North Pole to visit the city – but there’ll also be other special guests on stage at this year’s festive celebrations. Indeed, the Oxford Bulls Down’s syndrome team will be taking time out of their busy footballing schedule to join the Mayor on stage at this year’s ceremony.

The Oxford Bulls became instant stars earlier this year when Republic of Ireland winger James McClean got behind their campaign to play against local soccer teams.  A video of the team playing with McClean went viral on social media.

Santa has confirmed he is delighted to be meeting the Oxford Bulls and that he’ll be bringing his famous festive cheer to Derry – so make sure that you’re there early and don’t miss out on what promises to be a truly magical occasion.

Please also note that this is the first year pyrotechnics will be used for the big arrival of Santa – which is important information for parents with small children who could be surprised by the pyrotechnics, or people who suffer from conditions triggered by flashing lights such as photosensitive epilepsy.

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