THERE promises to be festive fun for all the family to enjoy at the annual Newtownards Christmas Lights Switch On at Conway Square this Saturday.

Organised in partnership with Ards Chamber of Trade, there will be plenty of buzz in the town from 10am to 7pm, as the Christmas market returns with festive entertainment and the switch on from 5.30pm.

The neighbouring town of Comber is set to light up tonight (23rd) with the Christmas Festival and Lights Switch On in the Square, hosted by Comber Regeneration Community Partnership from 4pm to 8pm.

There promises to be a special appearance from Santa and his friends for the Holywood Christmas Lights Switch On, hosted by Holywood and District Community Council, from 10am to 5pm. 


In Newtownards this Saturday, High Street and South Street will be closed to traffic to welcome a specialty Christmas market to the town, offering everything from crafts to local produce, plus handmade gifts and much more.

Combined with hot food stalls and a seasonal bar, it will be a perfect opportunity to do some traffic-free Christmas shopping while soaking up the festive atmosphere.


There will be entertainment throughout the day in Conway Square with local groups displaying their talent and pop-up performances from Frozen characters. 

From 5.30pm enjoy ‘Ring in the Season’ with Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf who will be bringing the stage to life with their Frozen Show, followed by Santa and Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Jennifer Gilmour switching on the Christmas tree lights.


Everyone is invited to collect a Christmas Passport from Ards Visitor Information Centre (VIC), the Visitor Information Caravan (in Conway Square), or any of the 14 participating businesses and get it stamped when you visit the local retailers that are taking part. 

From foodie stores, hairdressers, and florists, to shoe, art and clothes shops all participating retailers will have activities or giveaways to entertain the children who visit them. 

Look out for a caricaturist and face painting, the opportunity to make your own crafts, chances to enter competitions or grab some goodies, then present your completed passport to Ards VIC and receive another festive treat for the children.


Ards and North Down Mayor Jennifer Gilmour said: “We are delighted to have support from Newtownards Chamber of Commerce for this year’s Newtownards Christmas Lights Switch On, and to be introducing our Christmas Passport Trail to the event. 

“The town’s retailers are ready to welcome you to the town and kick off the festive season with lots of family fun. Come along as Santa and I switch on the lights marking the beginning of the Christmas festivities.” 

The town’s popular weekly Saturday market will also be taking place, in the new location for this date only, in Kennel Lane.