CHRISTMAS CAME early in Blackrock on Saturday, December 1, where the crowds were out in force for the village's 'Green Christmas Fair'. It was a fair with a difference, which combined lots of Christmas cheer with tips, advice, prizes and give-aways, all designed to save the pocket and the environment!
Top of the list was the 'Green Home' stand which was manned by Blackrock Tidy Towns and supported by An Taisce. Expert tips and advice on how to ' green up' your home were provided by Dr. Dorothy Stewart of the Green Home programme. This innovative programme provides help and support to those who wish to bring real savings into their home through the minimisation of waste, and the conservation of water and energy. It is open to all householders in Blackrock and the Tidy Towns would like to encourage anyone living in the area to sign up, while they still can, and benefit from the real savings that can be made by participating in the scheme.
A host of local companies also gave up their time to come along and support the event, providing information and money-off discounts for their products and services.
This included V&W Recycling, A-Rated Energy, Colm Homes Energy Surveys, Senator Windows, NEC Distributors and Haggardstown Garden Centre, not to mention Electric Ireland and Louth County Council, who were represented by both the Environment Section and the Water Conservation Project.
The children were captivated and enthralled by the fabulous ' Martin the Magician', while Pamela Whitaker of Groundswell worked her magic too, helping the children create wonderful Christmas wreaths and decorations from materials found in the park, thereby 'greening the home' in the truest sense of the word.
The goodwill of the exhibitors in addition to the large numbers of families who attended made for a wonderful event and Blackrock Tidy Towns would sincerely like to thank all those who came along on the day.
If for any reason you did not get the chance to attend and would like to find out more about the Green Home programme, just contact John Horan at (042) 9321046 or any member of the Blackrock Tidy Towns committee.
There was a large attendance, despite the wet weather and cold day at the annual parish Christmas celebration, incorporating the switching on of the community Christmas Tree and festive lights along the main street.
An estimated 700 attended the event in the main car park in the village, and Santa as usual paid a visit arriving on a sleigh driven by quads and handed out presents to the children, meeting them in a newly made grotto.
The children in turn brought along presents to give to their needy counterparts this Christmas. There was also a very successful raffle held to help defray the cost of the event to which businesses generously contributed.
There was plenty of hot chocolate, mulled wine and mince pies and cocktail sausages served to the adults and children for whom there was lots of entertainment laid on, able to avail of face painting and to play in the play trailer.
The three local schools participated in an art competition and congratulations were extended to the winners and all who participated.
Each of the school's choir performed on the stage adding to the festive atmosphere with the Blackrock choir as usual singing beautiful Christmas songs throughout the evening.
A novel way was used to switch on the lights on the Christmas Tree and street lights using a cheerometer involving the children.
They cheered to raise the star up on the top of the tree and after their third cheer, the star was raised.
This in turn was followed by all the Christmas lights of the village being turned on.
The evening was a merry beginning to Christmas and showed true community spirit in Blackrock. It ended with an impressive firework display on the beach. Everyone returned home fed, happy and full of Christmas cheer.