MORE lights than ever before, a fabulous new grotto for Santa, a candlelit procession and music by the Listowel Folk Group - it's shaping up for one of the most magical Christmases ever in town!
Local traders have put together a programme that has something for everyone, from the youngest to the oldest members of any family, and the atmosphere will light up immediately with the turning-on of the Christmas tree at 1pm on Friday, November 30, next!
"We're very excited this year about all the plans for the Listowel Christmas Festival," Traders' Association organiser and Coco Boutique owner Jennifer Scanlon told The Kerryman. "We have a bigger programme of events than ever before. It is going to be amazing and it's all starting earlier than usual as we're turning on the lights of the Christmas tree on Friday, November 30, next to give us all the time to savour what's going to be a very special atmosphere in town," Jennifer added.
New additions to the Christmas Festival in Listowel include extra lighting for the Square provided by the Listowel Town Council, a new 'Glamping' pod - a beautiful space made entirely of wood and the perfect place for Santa's visit - and a candlelit procession to mark the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 next.
Jennifer said the procession is being held to remember all those, living and departed, whose absence will make Christmas that bit more poignant for their families.
"We're not all about the commercial side of things at Christmas in Listowel and one of the highlights of our Festival is set to an inaugural candlelit procession from Market Street to St Mary's Church in time for 8pm Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
It promises to be a magical event emphasising the spiritual message of the whole celebration through the beautiful carols of the Listowel Folk Choir and Mass at the Church," Jennifer explained.
Meanwhile, Listowel Town Council urge employees of local business to park off-street as much as possible during the month in order to facilitate the increased trade. The council is allowing two-hour free parking in their carparks on select days running up to Christmas, but say they cannot increase the concessions as traders had called for last week.
See our Listowel Christmas feature for the full programme.