Plans Revealed for Christmas Lights Switch On Events!

Thursday 7th November 2019

Ards and North Down Borough Council’s two biggest Christmas Lights Switch On events are scheduled to take place later this month in Bangor and Newtownards!

Children making lanterns

Each year the Council presses the button on the festive season with its spectacular Switch On events that offer fun for the whole family. And there will be plenty of entertainment including festive market stalls, carols, special Christmas themed characters and lantern parades.

The Christmas Lights Switch On events will take place in: 

Bangor: Saturday 23 November, McKee Clock arena, 5.30pm
Newtownards: Saturday 30 November, Conway Square, 5.30pm

Children have been getting into the festive spirit in preparation for the events with a series of lantern making workshops which have taken place in both Bangor and Newtownards. The lanterns will be used by the children in both the Bangor and Ards parades that will form part of the festivities.

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery, said:

“There is always something magical about this time of year so get your hats and scarves at the ready and be sure not to miss these fun, family events which are guaranteed to put everyone living, working and visiting our towns and high streets in the mood for Christmas.”


It will be a day of fun for Bangor on Saturday 23 November as the Festive Christmas Market, organised by Bangor Chamber of Commerce, returns from 12noon to 7pm at the McKee Clock Arena on the seafront.  

An abundance of Christmas treats will be on offer with over 20 market stalls selling artisan foods and local crafts; this is the perfect spot to kick off some early Christmas shopping.

Enjoy the Christmas cheer at Project 24 with marshmallow toasting, festive crafts, a special visit from Santa and his reindeer plus the ‘Rock around the Roller Disco’. Tickets must be purchased in advance for the disco.

Main Street My Street have arranged a day of family fun with face painting, balloon modelling and Christmas crafts in Main Street – plus you can look out for a very special guest who will be appearing throughout the day!

There will also be Christmas carols performed by local school choirs between 1pm and 3pm at Translink Bus and Rail Station and McKee Clock Arena.

Craft Market at the Museum

North Down Museum’s Christmas Craft Market will take place on Saturday 23 (10am – 4.30pm) and Sunday 24 (12noon – 4.30pm) November. A popular date on the shopping calendar, the market will be packed with local artists and crafters providing an array of handmade goods, ideal for those special stocking fillers.

Come along and browse the stalls which will be dotted around the historical museum building. Live music on both days will add to the Christmas atmosphere.

Lantern Parade, Switch On & Fireworks

At 5.15pm, a lantern parade will make its way from Bangor Castle to the McKee Clock Arena; the procession will be led by Santa and the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery.

The Mayor will join Santa at the McKee Clock Arena to light up Bangor’s Christmas tree at 5.30pm and this will be followed by a spectacular fireworks display.


On Saturday 30 November, Newtownards Chamber of Trade will host a Christmas Market in Newtownards Town Centre from 10am – 6pm. Enjoy shopping along with live music and entertainment, community events, food, drink and more.

Santa and his sleigh, along with local dance and primary schools, will lead a lantern parade at 5.15pm from Molly Browns to Conway Square and Cool FM’s Pete Snodden will compere the evening and warm up the crowds before the Christmas lights switch on.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down will officially welcome Christmas to the town when he switches on the Christmas tree lights at 5.30pm.

Ards Arts Centre in Conway Square will host this year’s Creative Peninsula Craft Fayre, on Friday 29 (10am – 5pm) and Saturday 30 November (10am – 4.30pm) where an array of local craft makers and artists will give you the opportunity to purchase a range of unique and handcrafted products. 

For information about all other switch ons across towns and villages in the borough, see