MORE than 20,000 people flocked to the city of Armagh on Saturday for its annual Georgian Day, marking the start of Christmas celebrations.
Families were able to take a step back in time to enjoy the grandeur of the Georgian era with horse-drawn carriages, children’s street games and theatre, living history characters and a spectacular light projection show.
The day got into swing at 10am and came to an end shortly after 6pm with the surprise arrival of Santa Claus and his little elves during a spectacular light show.
Deputy Mayor Sylvia McRoberts said the day was “a great event which reminded people of how things were in the past and how children were able to enjoy themselves with very little”.
She said: “During the day there were children performing on the street and playing games.
“The city was packed – you could hardly get moving with the amount of people looking at stalls and going in and out of the shops.
“This was a really enjoyable family event.”
Mrs McRoberts, a UUP councillor, said the close of the day was a “truly spectacular light show in the market place”.
Lord Mayor Sharon Haughey said the Georgian-themed event “really complemented our beautiful Georgian city”.
“The centre of the city was closed off to traffic with shoppers being bussed in on the park and ride facility,” said Ms Haughey.
“I know that we were expecting 20,000 to the event, and we certainly got that footfall.
“This was the ninth Georgian Day event in Armagh and I think possibly our best.
“I was also delighted to see so many people from across Ireland, not just locals, attending the event.
“We had a number of Christmas markets and lots of shopping was done.
“But the light show at the end of the event was amazing.
“The lights were projected onto Armagh library, also a Georgian building, and we saw the arrival of Santa Claus and his elves.
“The way the light show was projected you almost thought the library was moving.
“The show will be available again on December 13 if anyone would like to see it again.”