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Countdown to Christmas Starts in Mid Ulster

This November and December in Mid Ulster are full of festive fun to help you countdown to this Christmas. From the virtual lights switch on to town centre trails and entertainment, craft workshops and festive concerts, there's lots to get you into the spirit of the season. 

While the traditional Christmas Lights Switch on events aren’t happening this year, residents will be able to enjoy a virtual Christmas Lights Switch On, from the warmth and comfort of their own home on the Council’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Channels on Friday 26th November. 

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Cllr. Paul McLean, looking ahead to the entertainment in store said,

“While things aren’t back to normal quite yet, we’ve come a long way in the fight against COVID-19, and I’m sure everyone will be looking forward to having some festive fun this year. As we continue to ensure the safety of our residents, we are hopeful that this year’s programme of events will help bring that Christmas cheer right across the district. Creating magical experiences with friends and family and using our town centres as the hub for our Christmas activities, can help us all give a little back to our retail and hospitality sectors at the end of an especially challenging year. As Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, can I encourage everyone to stay safe, soak up the atmosphere, shop local and support local businesses. When you are doing so, please make sure you do so safely, keep following the public health advice – hands, face, space – so that we can all continue to move forward together.”

Throughout December, a programme of festive family fun across town centres and in arts and cultural venues will mean there’s plenty to do in the run up to the day itself. 

Early bird shoppers can find that something special and unique at the Burnavon Craft Fair on Saturday 27 November (10am – 5pm). 

Town Centres in Cookstown, Dungannon, Magherafelt, Maghera and Coalisland will be transformed for the season, with festive window displays and lighting, and families can follow an interactive trail through each town centre, (from Saturday 4 December), stopping in at shops along the way to collect clues, and if you solve all the clues, receive a special message from Santa at the end. 

There’ll be lots of entertainment to make your town centre shopping go with a swing including pop-up panto and street theatre, and Christmas carols and music, all happening between 12pm – 3pm each Saturday from 4 to 18 December. There’ll also be a festive taste of Mid Ulster as three local chefs demonstrate Christmas menus using local produce on 20 November, 4 December and 16 December. 

Other festive family events in December include show time at the Square Box, Ranfurly House, Dungannon with Oddsocks and the Christmas Book of Spells. If panto isn’t your thing, you can watch the Christmas classic film, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ at Seamus Heaney HomePlace. 

All the family can get crafty in the run up to Christmas and make their own decorations and even gifts at craft workshops happening at Ranfurly House, The Bridewell, Maghera Leisure Centre and the Burnavon.  

The whole family can also enjoy an out of this world Santa experience at OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory this Christmas. As part of the OM Santa Experience, you'll be taken on a special guided tour, then venture outside before Santa arrives to watch the OM Christmas Odyssey - a new outdoor film capturing a magical journey from the North Pole to Davagh Forest! When you get to meet the man himself, Santa, you'll receive a stocking full of goodies. For more information, and to book, go to the OM website.

For full details of the Christmas programme of activities across Mid Ulster, visit our Christmas page.

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