The streets of Magherafelt were thronged with festive shoppers as over 20,000 people attended this year’s Magherafelt Christmas Market over the past weekend (24th – 25th November).
A fantastic array of artisan food and craft stalls selling local high quality products was the centrepiece of the 2018 market. Those who attended enjoyed browsing and sampling the locally produced food and drink, and took time to unwind in the lounge, where they could choose a craft beer, hot mulled wine or even just sit and relax.
There were lots of hints and tips for Christmas feasts on offer and local bands and school children, including the troop from Groogan Creative Dance, Caitriona Lagan Music, and pupils from St Mary’s Grammar School and Magherafelt High School performed on stage over the weekend, with lots of family entertainment across the stages from local acts, including Sollus Highland Dancers Mid Ulster and Mid Ulster School of Music.
Children also visited Santa and enjoyed storytelling from Mrs Claus at the Bridewell on Saturday. Sunday was a relaxing afternoon as the Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Ireland String Quartet provided soothing sounds for the shoppers as the market ended.
The Lights Switch On and spectacular fireworks display which was undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend took place on Saturday evening where a record crowd gathered for the Magherafelt Christmas Street Party on Broad Street before Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake and Santa himself hit the button to switch on the lights with much applause. A dazzling firework display then followed as the Market and festivities continued into the night as Anna’s Number rocked the night away under the Christmas tree.
Residents of the Mid Ulster area have another opportunity to enjoy a Christmas Lights Switch On in Maghera this Saturday 1st December with activities in The Lurach Centre and in Maghera Walled Garden from 3pm, followed by the switch on of the town’s Christmas Lights in Hall Street from 6pm. Visit www.midulstercouncil/christmas for full details.
For more photos from Magherafelt Christmas Market, check out https://www.facebook.com/visit.magherafelt/