HUNDREDS of children brought Listowel to a standstill on Tuesday last as they celebrated the real story of Christmas in a parade that made its way to a special live crib in the grounds of St Mary's Church.
Organised by the KDYS, including students of its Youthreach programme, the special Nativity Parade saw hundreds of Listowel children taking to the streets in a magical procession that enhanced the already warm Yuletide glow of the streets all the more.
Led by the Presentation Primary school band, the parade was comprised of more than 200 pupils from four local schools - Presentation Convent Primary, Scoil Réalta Na Maidine, Kilocrim National School and Gaelscoil Lios Tuathail. And at its core - marching just behind the Presentation band leaders - were Joseph, Mary, the Three Wise Men as well as the Nativity's attendant shepherds and angels.
They were played by students of Youthreach who, along with the primary school pupils, brought people out of homes and shops as the town came to a standstill for the duration of the spectacle.
"It was fantastic and we got a great response from everyone in town," KDYS spokesperson B'Anne O'Connor said.
"This was the first year of the Nativity Parade and we certainly hope to hold it again next year such was the reaction to it!"
Wending down through town, the pupils entered St Mary's Church grounds where the KDYS actors took their place in a Live Crib in the lee of the church.
"We had a donkey and a goat, lots of shepherds, angels, the Wise Men and, of course, Mary and Joseph. We had intended locating the crib in the Square but due to the weather thought it best to locate it in the shelter of the church and we'd like to thank Canon Declan O'Connor for accommodating us in that."
The whole thing was overseen by Mayor of Listowel Jimmy Moloney, with gardaí marshalling the traffic and Listowel Town Council and the Traders' Association providing great backup in an effort B'Anne praised as being truly indicative of both the community and Christmas spirit.