As we pack away our Halloween costumes for another year, (anyone else begrudging that we can’t get away with dressing like this all year round?) our minds have already turned to Christmas.

Yep, like the big kids we are, the news that the Christmas Lights Switch On starts at 6.45pm on Saturday, November 14 already has us clearing a space in the calender.

Mainly because the Belfast Continental Market opens at 12 noon on the same day, so Saturday 14 November will be a great day out in Belfast for the young – and the young at heart (us).

laverys beer garden

The ever popular Christmas Market is back with the same famous stalls, offering up unique gifts, gourmet food and perhaps most importantly of all – the Beer Garden. The market opens from 12 noon on 14 November right through to 20 December.

Free tickets will be available from the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, 9 Donegall Square North from 9am this Wednesday, November 4.

Tickets, which are limited to a maximum of four per person, can be collected in person or booked online at visit-belfast.com. Tickets booked online must be collected before 5pm on Thursday 12 November.

cm14

Santa’s post box is beside his grotto within the Continental Market – and the big man himself will also be dropping in from the North Pole to get the crowd in the party spirit.

Cool FM presenter Pete Snodden will compere on the night, alongside Paulo Ross and Rebecca McKinney. Cool FM, which is also sponsoring the event, will be running their Jingle Jumper Competition to choose a winner to help the Lord Mayor switch on the Christmas lights.

Belfast City Council's Christmas lights switch on

Pete said: “Christmas is without doubt my favourite time of the year and the Belfast City Council Christmas Light Switch On always kicks starts the festive season for me and gets it off to a great start. The night will be lots of fun for all the family and our special guests, including Santa, will make it magical.”

Prior to the Christmas Lights being switched on the City Hall Illumination Project will provide a spectacular lighting show live. The floodlights on the facade, main dome and turrets will allow the building and its beautiful architectural features to be illuminated in a variety of colours and combinations to enhance the festive lighting.

Full details of all events are available from the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, on 9024 6609, or visit belfastcity.gov.uk/christmaslights.

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