Tuesday, December 01, 2020

The Strokestown Christmas Market Committee from last year. From left: Jonathan Cassidy, Paula Fitzpatrick, Louise Greene, Martina Murray and Mark Chievers, pictured at the switching on of the Christmas Lights in Strokestown last year. There may be no market this year but the town will continue to dazzle following the official ‘switch-on’ of their festive lights this Friday evening. Pic: Gerard O’Loughlin

The citizens of Strokestown will be showcasing the Christmas spirit in abundance this weekend for the official ‘switch-on’ of the town’s Christmas lights on this Friday evening, December 4th.


The lights will be officially switched on by the winning entrant of a children’s competition whereby students from five local national schools in the town’s hinterland have been asked to design a ‘thank you card’, for a frontline worker of their choice. The competition winner will be honoured by formally ‘switching on’ the town’s Christmas lights.


Despite the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, the community is asked to come together in their cars and observe the town’s elaborate lighting. Visitors will miss none of the fun by tuning in their car radios to 108.0 FM and are asked to assemble by no later than 7.30 p.m..


A major local fundraising campaign was organised in recent weeks to meet the cost of the lights with over €7,000 raised, thanks to the generous support of local businesses, residents and many others, many of whom lived outside of the town but who wished to support the community’s efforts.


The Christmas spirit continues both on Saturday and Sunday, December 5th and 6th will a ‘Drive-Through Santa’s Grotto Experience’ where children will be able to meet Santa Claus himself while observing social distancing protocols.


The event is organised by the Strokestown Town Team in conjunction with Strokestown Park House and the transition year students attending Scoil Mhuire secondary school. The children present will be able to marvel at Santa’s elves wrapping presents and helping to sort Santa’s mail.


Children will also be given a unique insight into Ms. Claus making ginger bread as well as Santa resting in his living room as he prepares for his grand voyage with Rudolf the reindeer, three weeks from now!


The ‘Drive Through Grotto Experience’ takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 8 p.m. While the event is free of charge, anyone interested in attending must book in advance on Eventbrite.

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