Frozen's Elsa and Anna with Arabella, Emily and Jessica who are looking forward to seeing Santa and Mayor Jennifer Gilmour arriving in an electric car from Mellon's Hyundai at the Bangor Christmas Lights Switch On. Image: Graham Baalhanm-Curry.

SANTA is getting ready to visit Bangor on Saturday, November 18, for the city’s Christmas Lights Switch On.

The man in the big red suit is taking time out of his busy schedule to kickstart Christmas in Ards and North Down with this weekend’s Switch On marking the first of a series of events that are taking place across the Borough during the festive season.

Saturday’s festivities are planned from midday until 7pm, so why not celebrate Christmas in the city and make a start on some shopping while soaking up the atmosphere? Collect a Christmas Passport from Bangor Visitor Information Centre (VIC), the Visitor Information Caravan (near the McKee Clock), or any of the 14 participating businesses and get it stamped when you visit the local retailers that are taking part.

All participating retailers will have activities or giveaways to entertain the kids who visit their shops. You can grab a free mince pie, print a letter for Santa, perform some Christmas karaoke and pick up lots of other freebies. Then present your completed passport to Bangor VIC and receive another festive treat for the kids.

The former TK Maxx building on Main Street will host a fabulous Christmas-themed indoor market from 1pm to 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Market Fresh will offer plenty of opportunity to buy some unique Christmas presents for loved ones.

Dander down to Queen’s Parade car park and grab a drink from the Festive Bar or enjoy delicious food from the Food Village, while children and adults alike can enjoy funfair rides and more at the McKee Clock arena. Join in the Christmas party fun and family disco with special festive guests including Buddy the Elf and The Grinch, as well as Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, performing throughout the day from noon.

Then the countdown begins at 5.30pm for the big Switch On, in association with Mellons Hyundai. Santa and the Mayor of Ards and North Down Jennifer Gilmour, will travel from the City Hall to the McKee Clock arena in a Christmas themed electric car to switch on the city’s Christmas lights.

Mayor Gilmour said: “We are delighted to have support from Bangor Chamber of Commerce and Mellons Hyundai for this year’s Bangor Christmas Lights Switch On. I hope everyone has fun taking part in the Christmas Passport trail and enjoys taking part in fun activities at the 14 participating retailers. There will be something for all the family to do and I am really looking forward to meeting Santa and getting this year’s Christmas festivities underway in Ards and North Down.”

The Bangor Christmas Lights Switch On is the first in a series of Switch Ons that will be taking place across the Borough over the coming weeks. Other Switch On events include Comber (November 23, Newtownards (November 25), Holywood (November 25) and Donaghadee (December 3).

For more information on Bangor Switch On and what is happening across the borough this festive season, go to