Down District Council

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Stars Shine in Downpatrick for Christkindl

Released: 06 December 2011

On a beautiful crisp and clear December evening Downpatrick celebrated the coming of Christmas with a spectacular switch-on and fabulous festival entertainment.

The largest tree and the largest crowd that this event has seen provided the perfect backdrop to this spectacular festive family event!

The crowds were wowed by local rising stars from Starshine Performing Arts and St Patrick’s Youth Theatre, both groups showcasing the talent that the local community has to offer. Matthew Campbell and Mark McMullan from St Patrick’s Youth Theatre gave a fantastic rendition of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’ which set the scene for the rest of the evening.

Live music was delivered by The Professionals, Ireland’s freshest and youngest band, who got the crowds feeling merry with their enthusiastic and entertaining performance from the festival stage. While the Snow King and Snow Queen along with some fabulous Narnia characters from the South Eastern Regional College, entertained and enthralled the crowds!

BBC Radio Ulster’s Alan Simpson captured the audience’s attention with his own brand of humour, fun and games; getting everyone involved and the children excited awaiting the arrival of Santa. The newly completed streetscape presented the perfect setting for the magical entrance of Santa, Mrs Claus and his elves as they made their way down the steps into St Patrick’s Square bathed in white light. 

On his arrival to the stage, the Chairman of Down District Council, Councillor Dermot Curran, congratulated all the performers and welcomed everyone to Downpatrick for the festive season. He continued by congratulating all of the local businesses for their contribution to the evenings entertainment before wishing all the residents, traders, children and visitors a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

As the tree lighting ceremony was about to kick off four local children: Samantha Kendall (10); Erin McCauley (10); Connor Curran (12) and Roisin McIlhome (12), were invited to the stage to press the plunger along with Santa. As the countdown reached 1 St Patrick’s Square sparkled as the brand new tree and bespoke lighting was met with a cheer from the crowd.

Tracey Quail Chairperson of Downpatrick Chamber of Commerce said: “It was a wonderful evening which undoubtedly encouraged magnificent crowds to enjoy the Christmas lights switch-on and it gave the Downpatrick Chamber an opportunity to showcase the businesses and their retail and service offer illustrating the potential of an evening economy in these challenging times.”

Down District Council would like to offer a huge thanks to local traders who kindly donated some fabulous prizes: Halfords; Downe Travel; McCartans; McCoubrey’s; JJ Donnelley’s; Asda; Eclipse Cinema; Gordon’s Chemist; Posh Nails; Una’s Hair Studio; Plus 2 Print; Lisa’s Hair Studio; Wilson’s Family Butchers; Divas Unisex Hair & Beauty Salon; Oakley Fayre and Pricewise.

Competition Winners

Family Prize
Winner: John O’Neill

Girls Pamper Prize
Winner: Grace and Suzanne Chapman
2nd Place: Mia and Roisin Kelly

Downpatrick Chamber of Commerce Prize
Winner: Ryan Kearney

Children’s Prize
Winner: Connor Curran
2nd Place: Roisin McIlhone