LURGAN’S Christmas lights are the best in Northern Ireland - according to expert opinion.
The town’s festive decorations came first in a survey, beating Belfast, Lisburn and Ballymena.
The lighting was praised by experts in advertising, marketing and design.
Cathal Tunney, the creative director of Archer Advertising in Belfast, described the town’s Christmas lights as “very well done”.
“Lurgan has shown that a lot of strategically co-ordinated colour can really work,” he said.
“The lighting the whole way up the big market street is very welcoming.
“The tree is also very tastefully done.”
Larry McGarry, creative director at Ardmore Advertising in Holywood, described the town’s display as “breathtaking”.
“Lurgan have clearly spent a lot of time ensuring that their town looks extra special this Christmas,” he said.
“The precise placement of the lights spiralling down the Christmas tree are a sign of a town that prides itself in celebrating the festive period in style.”
Craigavon Mayor Alan Carson said it was “great recognition for the town”.
“I’m delighted for Lurgan people and really proud of our hard working team,” said Cllr Carson.
Simon Dowey, of Lurgan Chamber of Trade, said it was “wonderful news” for the town.
He said: “This reflects the effort that the Chamber are putting into Lurgan.
“It also highlights how the Council are working positively with us to invest in our town centre.
DUP councillor Carla Lockhart said she was “delighted” with the news.
She said: “This is a great accolade for the town, and certainly Craigavon Borough Council have to be commended for their efforts, particularly those who worked so hard to put the lights up.
“This really puts Lurgan on the map, and I know that it will attract people from far and near to come and see the sea of lights, colour and sparkle.
“This really demonstrates that Lurgan town is a superb place to come to shop, visit Santa and even see the “The Risk” on Saturday evening “
She added: “As a councillor for the area, I am proud to represent it and would like to say well done to all those who have helped to make the town look and feel Christmassy.”
Sinn Fein councillor Liam Mackle praised those involved in installing the decorations.
“The town centre has been decorated much better this year than in previous years and every advantage has been made of the new public realm’s features,” said Cllr Mackle.
“The Chamber of Commerce and Council worked together to improve the layout and standard of decorations and make the town centre attractive to shoppers.”
He continued: “Santa will have his own Grotto in the town centre and the festivities will culminate in a massive event on December 17 headlined by X-Factor act ‘The Risk’.
“The organisers have put a lot of effort into creating a festive atmosphere and have to be congratulated for their efforts which should help to bring additional business to the whole town.”
He added: “The preparations for the Christmas season involve a lot of work throughout the year but with a little bit of additional effort an innovative approach can be extended to the other commercial streets of the town in the coming years.
“This will allow Lurgan businesses to compete successfully with other major retail centres.”