Lagos unveils fun-filled Christmas programme

There will be live shows, an iconic nativity scene display, a Christmas village and much more in Lagos

Lagos has prepared a fun-filled Christmas programme for the entire family which will feature a variety of activities, exhibitions, performances and much more throughout the borough.

One of the highlights will happen on Sunday, December 3 with the arrival of Santa Claus at the town’s Christmas Village at Praça do Infante.

Due to take place at 3pm, the event will also see Santa handing out gifts as well as a live performance by the children’s choir of Grupo Coral de Lagos.

The Christmas Village will also feature Santa’s House, an environmentally-friendly ice rink, a small market and fun activities for children. There will also be the reading of Christmas tales on December 4,8, 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 4pm.

It will be open until December 24 from noon to 8pm between Monday and Thursday, noon and 9pm on Friday, and 10am and 9pm on weekends and the holiday of December 8. On Christmas Eve, the village will open at 10am and close at 5pm.

Meanwhile, a Christmas Atelier will be set up on Rua Portas de Portugal near the municipal riverside market, where children can enjoy everything from face painting and balloon modelling to creating clay nativity scenes, finger puppets or writing their letters to Santa. The atelier will have the same opening hours as the Christmas village.

There will also be entertainment at the municipal markets, with Vivó Mercado due to welcome live music performances by Paulo Ribeiro (December 7, 5.30pm), Sociedade Filarmónica Lacobrigense 1º de Maio (December 14, 5.30pm), Grupo Coral de Lagos (December 21, 6pm), and Orquestra Ligeira de Lagos (December 28, 5.30pm).

Mercado de Levante will host a weekend Christmas handicraft event on December 10 and 11, starting at 5pm on December 10 and at 2pm on December 11 and ending on both days at 9pm.

Lastly, Mercado de Santo Amaro will host two performances by Sociedade Filarmónica Lacobrigense 1º de Maio on December 10 and 17, between 11am and 1pm.

Iconic nativity scene display

One of the most beloved traditions of the last decade in Lagos is visiting an impressive nativity scene created by local resident José Cortes, who last year decided to donate his creation to the local council.

Cortes began making the nativity scene in 2011, adding new elements to improve and expand it year after year.

The scope of the nativity scene is impressive with 275 figures depicting human characters, 368 figures depicting animals, 38 houses, several windmills, a church, a school, a bandstand, a noria with a donkey and ox carts. Traditional activities such as olive harvesting and other farming features are also depicted.

The entire nativity scene is brought to life with “complex mechanisms that give movement, light and even water to the represented figurines and scenes,” the local council says.

It can be visited at the local cultural centre until January for free, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10am to 6pm.

Live shows

The nativity scene will not be the sole source of entertainment at the local cultural centre, which will be hosting a series of shows during the festive season.

First up is Manta de Retalhos, a show which fuses dance, music and multimedia elements taking place on December 1 at 5pm (€8).

This will be followed by Le Concert Spirituel, a live performance by Orquestra Clássica do Sul on December 2 at 7pm (€6), and Swinging Christmas, a performance by Orquestra Ligeira de Lagos on December 3 at 9.30pm (€10).

Portuguese rock band UHF will perform on December 4 at 6pm (€10) and have invited the children’s choir of Grupo Coral de Lagos to be a part of the show.

An experimental theatre show called Sonhar com o Bill will be held on December 10 at 4pm (€7), while Associação de Dança de Lagos will hold two dance performances on December 15 and 17 at 7.30pm (€10 each).

Later on in the month, a Christmas concert by Sociedade Filarmónica Lacobrigense 1º de Maio will be held on December 20 at 9pm (€8), followed by A Christmas Story courtesy of Ilse Huizing, Michael Lauren and the Orquestra de Jazz do Algarve on December 21 at 9.30pm (€10).

The cultural centre’s festive programme will end with a guitar concert by Irina Mamrici and Gonçalo Duarte on December 22 at 7pm (€10).

Elsewhere in Lagos, Orquestra Barroca d’Aquém Mar will perform on December 9 at 7pm at Igreja de Santa Maria (€6), while a choir performance organised by Sons ao Crepúsculo will be held at Igreja de Bensagrim on December 10 at 7.30pm (free).

Also on the agenda is a guided tour of Lagos’ Christmas festivities on December 10 at 10am which will include stops at Lagos town hall, the cultural centre and Praça do Infante. Registrations can be made online.

Lagos’ municipal library will also host a free spoken word and live music performance by Bruno Batista, Nelda Magalhães, Carlos Norton and Vasco Ramalho on December 16 at 9pm.

Lagos Zoo hosts Natalândia

Another Lagos Christmas tradition is Natalândia at Lagos Zoo, which will run from December 8 to 24 and will feature 50% discounts on ticket prices for Algarve residents.

Christmas hats will once again be handed to all visitors at the entrance while children will receive a letter to write to be delivered later on to Santa.

Also promised is a variety of street entertainment, bouncy castles, an exhibition of nativity scenes and live theatre performances.

Visitors will also be able to feed some of the zoo’s animals.

Shop locally

To encourage people to shop locally, there will be a campaign in which participating local businesses will hand out coupons which for every €10 or more spent at their stores which gives shoppers a chance to win €100 shopping vouchers.

The Frente Ribeirinha car park will provide two hours of free parking between December 1 and January 6 to anyone who presents a €10 or more receipt from the same day and from a local participating store.

By Michael Bruxo

michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com