Saturday 28th November heralds the return of the much anticipated Georgian Day celebrations to Armagh City.
For many, this is the beginning of the Christmas season as the Georgian era ushered in so many of the traditions we still follow today.
This family friendly event, now in its 12th year has been inspired by Armagh’s unique and historic Georgian cityscape.
Georgian day helps to bring the city’s Georgian history and stories alive in an interactive way and allows the visitor to step back in time and immerse themselves in all things Georgian. The city will be transformed with activities and entertainment taking place from 10am – 9pm; the majority of which are free of charge.
Over 70 festive stalls will line their way around the city streets offering locally produced food, drinks and high quality gifts. To add to the occasion, stallholders will serve their customers attired in Georgian dress and throughout the day there will be Christmas music and entertainment from Georgian singers.
The local Georgian gentry will be strolling around the city streets, ready to inform and entertain their visitors and to encourage everyone to take part in the traditional games and workshops taking place. The scent of warm mince pies and mulled wine will linger in the air and add to the unique atmosphere.
Many of the beautiful Georgian buildings which create the attractive backdrop to this event will be open during the day for tours. These include the Archbishops Palace, Public Library, Observatory and Gaol and a city walking tour will also be available.
Traditional horse and carriage rides around the iconic Mall encapsulate the Georgian atmosphere. (A small charge applies and tickets must be booked online.) Be sure to wrap up snugly and don’t forget your camera! This may be Georgian day but social media shares are allowed #georgianday!
A new addition to the 2015 festivities is the Children’s Christmas market, open from 1-9pm. Located in The Shambles Yard, this magical experience, designed with children in mind includes real reindeer, a carousel, festive bakery and Post Office, Christmas fairy, storytelling and disco. The stalls have been specially selected to appeal to children.
Christmas workshops including glass bauble and Christmas cookie decorating plus letter writing to Santa will ensure everyone is entertained.
Activities at the Children’s market continue well into the evening with fire performers and large willow lanterns providing a canvas in the night sky. Gingerbread Alley is sure to appeal to children of all ages. Come along and see the work of our talented local chefs. A family treasure hunt weaves its way around the city and provides a prize to all entrants – Georgian chocolate!
As darkness descends on Armagh, the Georgian Day lightshow bursts into life. The new show entitled “Twas the Light before Christmas” transforms the Market House into a shimmering canvas with images and other special effects, set to festive music and marking the arrival of Santa Claus to the city. This show takes place on the hour between 5-8pm; tickets are free but must be booked in advance.
To facilitate your visit to Georgian Day, a free park and ride system will be in operation throughout the day. Many of the local retailers will be providing festive offers.
For more information on Georgian Day and what’s happening in Armagh this Christmas visit www.armagh.co.uk/georgian or contact Armagh Visitor Information Centre T: 028 3752 1800. This event is kindly supported by Tourism Northern Ireland.