Belfast Telegraph

Switch on to festive fun

Children's television favourites Angelina Ballerina, Sportacus and Stephanie will enthrall local youngsters at the switching on of the city’s Christmas lights this Saturday, November 20.

They will join Lord Mayor Pat Convery and Belfast-born broadcaster Eamonn Holmes to kick off the festive season in celebratory style.

“The switching on of the Christmas lights is always a great night for all the family, and this year promises to be just that little bit special, especially with the event taking place on a Saturday evening for the first time,” said Councillor Convery.

“I am particularly delighted that this year we will be joined by some of the biggest names in children’s television. Christmas is an exciting time for children and the event will delight young children as they see their favourite characters perform live in Belfast.”

The Sportacus and Stephanie UK actors will be bringing a touch of Lazytown to the celebrations, which begin at 6pm. Helping them will be fellow TV favourite Angelina Ballerina, who will be joined by her friends Alice and Robyn The Postman.

Special guest compere for the evening will be Belfast’s own Eamonn Holmes and his wife, Ruth Langford. Also joining in the hour-long programme will be the City of Belfast School of Music Cantanti, the cast of the Waterfront’s pantomime, Jack And The Beanstalk, and, of course, Santa Claus himself, together with his good lady wife.

The annual Belfast City Council Christmas Lights Switch On takes place this Saturday with the entertainment programme beginning at 6pm. During the day, shops, cafes, restaurants and other businesses in and around the city centre will be offering special discounts and offers, as well as family entertainment at both CastleCourt and Victoria Square.

Other highlights of Belfast City Council’s Christmas programme include:

* the Continental Christmas Market, in the grounds of City Hall, which opens at 7.30pm on Saturday, November 20 and continues until December 18, with stalls from Europe and beyond, and Santa’s Grotto;

* the Waterfront’s pantomime, Jack And The Beanstalk, which runs from November 27 to January 8;

* Christmas tours of Belfast Castle throughout December;

* Santa’s Grotto at Belfast Zoo, over weekends in December;

and

* the Christmas Fair and Market at St George’s Market, on December 4 and December 5.

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