ONE of the best Christmas periods in a number of years - that's the message reported by traders this week amid an extremely successful sales period for the town.
Among the main indicators of the Christmas business success was the fact that nearly all shops in town held off on sales until after the reopening of the town's commercial life on December 27.
Traders are also delighted at the success of the Christmas in Listowel Festival - which saw hundreds in the Square on the Saturday before Christmas for a magnificent fireworks display. That was just one of a range of events traders organised to accomplish their mission of bringing more business to Listowel.
And it was a case of mission accomplished this week as business people got a chance to appraise the period more accurately.
"It appears to have been one of the best Christmases for Listowel in a few years," Listowel Independent Traders' organiser Kelly Browne told The Kerryman.
"We are very happy with it and I think one of the greatest indications of confidence among traders here is the fact that most held off on sales until after Christmas. That would be unusual enough for Listowel and it was certainly unlike the bigger towns, where sales were well underway before December 25," Kelly explained.
The Gift Voucher scheme - introduced last year - exceeded expectation. € 40,000worth of vouchers were sold up until the end of last week - a figure that is making all the difference for many shops. "And they are still selling, a lot of people buy them as wedding presents and as presents for other occasion. We see them coming into shops all through the year."
Year two of the Christmas festival in Listowel has definitely consolidated its place in the town's calendar. "The festival proved very effective and really lent itself to a Christmas atmosphere in town. This was only the second year of it and it can be very hard to run outdoor events with the weather against us at this time of year so we're delighted with it."