The Christmas Spirit

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The Halloween make-up had barely been washed off when the Christmas train came rolling in.

The red cups are out already and the lights ain't even been switched on, but that will all be rectified over the next few weeks, as across NI switches are flipped and lights will begin to twinkle. And its no longer just Belfast's City Hall that gets all the glory, with Switch On events taking place in many other spots.

Such as the one's below...

Christmas Lights Switch On At Victoria Square - 10 November

Let there be lights! Victoria Square will host an afternoon of festive family entertainment on Sunday, 10 November.

Join in the festive fun from 3pm, with face painting and the chance to meet one of Santa's reindeers. From 4.30pm Christmas circus performers will be entertaining the crowds before Santa's big arrival. And at 6pm enjoy the magic of the 'Night Before Christmas' parade and Christmas Lights Switch On.

Belfast Christmas Lights Switch On 2018 - 17 November

Come to Belfast as the city gets festive and join the Lord Mayor and her special guests, Paw Patrol's Skye and Marshall, Fireman Sam and Norman Price, and TV presenter Andy Day, as we light up for Christmas!

Q Radio's breakfast team Stephen and Cate will host the evening and lots of musical fun awaits with mini shows and traditional carols before the big switch-on.

It will take place on Saturday 17 November, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm (approx.) in front of City Hall. A great way for families to countdown to Christmas.

Gates will open on the evening at 6pm with live entertainment on stage from this time.

There will be a sign interpreter at the event and sign language users will be able to view the interpreter on stage or on a screen. For those who can't follow a sign language interpreter, they can follow via live captions on the screen.

Bangor Christmas Switch On - 17 November

And if you want to stay out of the big city on Saturday, 17 November, there is plenty of festive inspired fun on offer at Bangor's seafront.

With a children's funfair and food and craft market, all leading up to the big switch on of the Christmas lights in the McKee Clock arena. Followed by the much-anticipated fireworks display over the marina waters. Your best vantage point for the fireworks is along the coastal path and from the promenade.

This event is free and will take place on Bangor Seafront and Project 24.

Glengormley Switch On & Christmas Market – 17 November

On Saturday, 17 November, Lilian Bland Community Park will be transformed with cosy cabins lining the path filled with Christmas gifts, food and treats from local traders as well as Bonkers Betty's Bizarre Bazaar's festive craft market.

Festivities will begin at 1pm, with a Christmas Fair Workshop taking place at 1.30pm, 2.45pm or 4pm in Glengormley Pavilion. And parent are urged to make sure their children enter the drawing competition and they could be joining the Mayor with their favourite teddy bear to turn on the Christmas tree lights.

Santa and his bear friends will arrive at 5pm to officially light up Christmas in Glengormley.

Christmas Lights Switch On At The Mac - 18 November

Come down and help the MAC and Cahoots NI switch on the Christmas tree lights with a special performance from the Elves and the Shoemaker cast on Sunday, 18 November.

This Christmas, fairytale characters are stepping out of their story books and into a new adventure, featuring original music, magic and dazzling special effects.

Based on the much loved Grimm's Fairy Tale, 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' puts a magical twist on a classic tale in this new adaption from the MAC Belfast and Cahoots NI.

It's the story about the kind-hearted cobbler who gets a helping hand from a party of nocturnal pixies. Expect laugh-out-loud capers and keep your eyes out for some of fairyland's best known characters who just might pop up to make it Belfast's funniest, festive family show.

More information on the show, which begins on 27 November, is available here.

Newtownards Christmas Tree Switch On - 23 November

Newtownards Conway Square will be light up on Friday, 23 November, with festive themed entertainment that is sure to make for a terrific evening of fun with family and friends welcoming the Christmas season to the town.

A children's parade, a visit from Santa himself and the switch on of the Christmas tree lights in Conway Square should put everyone in festive mood.

Antrim Switch On & Christmas Market – 23 November

Join us in Market Square as Stuart Robinson kicks off Christmas in Antrim.

Santa and his friends will arrive at 7.20pm to officially light up the town but be sure to book the kids into the fun and furry teddy bear workshops beforehand. Taking place in Castle Mall at 4pm, 5pm or 6pm, tickets for the workshop are priced at £5 per child and £2.50 per adult. Tickets must be bought in advance from theatreatthemill.com.

Adding to the festive spirit will be a Twilight Market which will line the Square offering everything from Christmas gifts, food and treats from local traders as well as Bonkers Betty's Bizarre Bazaar's festive craft market.

A spectacular fireworks display will round off a great festive evening.

Holywood Christmas Switch On – 24 November

The seaside town of Holywood will welcome the Christmas season with their annual lights switch on event on Saturday, 24 November.

The tree will be erected outside the town's historic library with festive entertainment taking place up and down High Street.

Comber Christmas Fair In The Square – 29 November

On Thursday, 29 November, come along to Comber's Christmas Fair in the Square and meet Santa, his reindeer and his little helpers; browse the stalls with local food and crafts, visit the food village and enjoy the music and carol singing as the Christmas tree lights are switched on.

Come along and meet Santa's little helpers, and see him arrive on his sleigh pulled by real reindeers.

Over 60 stalls with local food, Arts and Crafts; music and carol singing - festive fun for all the family. Sample the wide range of food in the fabulous food court.

The Christmas lights will be switched on at 7pm.

Parking is available in the main Leisure Centre Car Park and also in some of the local churches car parks.

Ballyclare Switch On & Christmas Market – 24 November

Start the yuletide season with some festive family fun and enjoy Christmas gifts, food and treats from local traders at the festive craft market on The Square, Ballyclare.

Create a teddy bear at the Christmas Fair Workshop at 1.30pm, 2.45pm or 4pm in Ballyclare Town Hall before Santa and his friends arrive at 5pm to officially light up Christmas in Ballyclare. Tickets must be bought in advance from theatreatthemill.com and are priced at £5 per child and £2.50 per adult.

Make sure your child enters the colouring competition and they could be joining the Mayor with their favourite teddy bear to turn on the Christmas tree lights.

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