Christmas in Ennis launches on Friday

Christmas in Ennis launches on Friday


Christmas lights in Abbey St. Pic: Raymond O’Mahony

Santa Claus is coming to town and will join Mayor of Ennis Municipal District, Clare Colleran Molloy, for the official switching on of the Christmas Lights and the launch of the ‘Christmas in Ennis’ programme in O’Connell Square from 4.00pm to 5.30pm this Friday.

Santa will arrive by Fire Engine for the event, which will also feature a new 40ft Christmas tree, children’s entertainment, carol singing, hot chocolate, face-painting and much more. A post-box, crafted by Ennis Men’s Shed, will be situated in the Square giving children the opportunity to post their Santa letters.  In conjunction with the switch-on of the Christmas Lights, Ennis Lions Club will launch their Remembrance Tree Project in aid of Cahercalla Hospice at 5.00pm

Minor traffic diversions will be in place in the Square from 3.00pm.

The Christmas in Ennis programme, which is hosted Clare County Council and supported by the Ennis Chamber, will feature the “Christmas Express” train operating through the town from Wednesday 19th December to Saturday 22 December inclusive. Train fares will cost €2 with all proceeds raised going to local charities.

Ennis Christmas Market will bring the sights, sounds and smells of the festive season to the Market Building on Friday 21 December (3.00pm to 7.00pm) and Saturday 22December (10.00am to 4.00pm). Traders will be showcasing a variety of locally produced gifts and produce, which would make an ideal Christmas gift, or last minute stocking filler.

On Sunday 16 December a Santa Run will take place with all proceeds raised going to Clare Crusaders.

The streets of Ennis will come alive to the sound of Christmas music from 14 December, when Christmas Street Radio returns until Christmas Eve. Well-known local radio presenter Ger Sweeney will be broadcasting daily from Ennis Market with the broadcast being relayed on street speakers throughout the town.

While Christmas parking details will be announced in the coming fortnight, Clare County Council has confirmed that Salt House Lane and High Street, and O’Connell Square and O’Connell Street from O’Connell Square to its junction with Station Road will be pedestrianised from midday to 6.00pm on Saturday 15 December, Sunday 16 December, Friday 21 December, Saturday 22 December, Sunday 23 December and on Monday 24th December.

The ‘Christmas in Ennis’ programme concludes on Sunday, 6 January 2019 with the Irish International Christmas Tree Throwing Championship taking place at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park.  Organised by Clare County Council, the 8th annual event is a novel way to turn Christmas tree recycling into a sport, while at the same time raise funds for a worthy cause. The Championship, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions, sees members of the public competing to achieve the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5 metre tree.  There will be trophies for the longest throw in various age categories with a trophy for the overall champion.

Mayor of Ennis MD, Clare Colleran Molloy has complimented the partnership approach adopted by Clare County Council and the local business community to making Ennis an ‘attractive shopping destination’ in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

The Mayor added, “The magic of Christmas comes alive for me when I see the twinkle of the festive lights in Ennis, which in their own small way, further enhances the town as a place to visit, shop and do business during the Christmas period. The quality and range of shopping outlets in the town is second to none as exemplified in recent retail accolades and that’s why I would urge as many of you as possible to shop local this Christmas.”

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.