Bangor lights up for Christmas this weekend!

Tuesday 15th November 2022

The city of Bangor will light up for Christmas this Saturday 19 November with the first in a series of Christmas lights switch-on events in Ards and North Down. Returning to the McKee Clock Arena, the switch-on will take place at 5.30pm while a variety of festive treats will be available throughout the day.

Clara Kelly, Arthur Kelly and Jessie MacDonald are getting into the spirit of Christmas

From 12noon until 7pm, visitors to Bangor will be able to get into the Christmas spirit at a new indoor market. Located in Main Street’s former TK Maxx building, the two-day market will offer seasonal gifts including arts and crafts as well as delicious pastries and chocolate from a selection of vendors.

Join us at McKee Clock Arena from 12noon and keep an eye out for fairy princesses sprinkling a bit of Christmas magic and ‘Elves Behavin’ Badly’, Elfie and Elvie, as the popular and pranking elves get up to mischief at intervals throughout the day. The sound of Christmas will spread throughout the city with music from local choirs, Harmonic Sounds, and Comber Brass. Enjoy children’s entertainment, a traditional carousel and much more!

Santa and the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Karen Douglas, will be turning on the Christmas Tree lights at 5.30pm at the McKee Clock Arena.

Supported by Bangor Chamber of Commerce, there will be something for everyone as Bangor prepares to show its love for Christmas in 2022.

Across the Borough

The Bangor Christmas Switch-On marks the first in a series of Christmas events that are taking place in Ards and North Down. The Borough’s towns and villages will be lit up for the festive season over the coming weeks with the Comber switch-on taking place on Thursday 24 November, followed by both Newtownards and Holywood on Saturday 26 November, and Donaghadee on Sunday 4 December.

At next week’s Newtownards switch-on, the Christmas Market returns with food demonstrations featuring celebrity chef, Suzie Lee. There will be festive entertainment and Santa’s grotto at The Precinct in the lead up to the big switch-on of the Christmas tree lights by Santa and special guests. A full list of switch-ons is available from Visit Ards and North Down.

Seasonal Shops and Exhibitions

A pop-up Christmas Shop returns to North Down Museum from Wednesday 23 November until Sunday 8 January. Open from 10am-4pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays, as well as 12noon-4pm on Sundays, the Museum’s contemporary galleries will be filled with beautiful handmade products from local artists and crafters.

In addition, a unique late-night Christmas shopping event will take place at the museum on Thursday 24 November from 7-9pm. The Christmas vendors will open late while music, demonstrations and artist talks will add to the atmosphere!

In Newtownards, the Creative Peninsula Christmas pop-up shop and Winter Exhibition at Ards Arts Centre will operate from Saturday 26 November until Friday 16 December. Open 10am-4pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays, with late night opening until 9pm on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December, visitors can browse the Christmas shop as well as a variety of artworks on display from some of the finest artists and crafters in the Borough.

Festive Events and Family Fun

Tickets are available for several festive shows throughout December. On Thursday 1 December, The Ulster Consort presents A Ceremony of Carols at 7pm in Bangor Castle. Enjoy an extended choral composition for Christmas by Benjamin Britten, scored for three-part treble chorus, solo voices and harp. Tickets cost £15 (plus booking fee) and are available from

On Saturday 10 December, Santa’s Sooty Christmas by Centre Stage Theatre will offer plenty of family fun at Queen’s Hall, Newtownards, at 2pm and 6pm. This jolly Christmas pantomime tells the tale of Rudi the cheerful chimney sweep who is cleaning all the chimneys to make sure they are ready for Santa. This hilarious Christmas tale comes complete with catchy songs and simple effects. Tickets cost £6 (plus booking fee) and are available from

You can also enjoy a weekend of free festive fun at Project 24 over Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December, between 12noon and 4pm, with a Christmas special Market Fresh, Santa, jolly performances, merry crafts and more!

For information about all Christmas events in the Borough, go to Visit Ards and North Down.