Wexford exploded into life last Saturday evening for the official declaration of Christmas in the town.
Hundreds of excited families converged on the town centre and lined the streets to watch a festive parade which culminated in a quayfront ceremony to switch on newly-purchased Main Street Christmas lights before they were treated to the spectacle of a fireworks display over the harbour.
Children came out in force to view the Wexford Retailers Winterland Parade which featured dancing polar bear puppets, a towering gingerbread man, a giant moving storybook, a train full of elves, Santa's sleigh with the red-robed man himself and his missus on board, ho-ho-hoing all the way from Selskar Square through the Bullring, the Main Street and down Anne Street onto the quays to the sound of the Bloco Garman Band.
Robin Hood and Maid Marian also made an appearance courtesy of costumed members of Wexford Pantomime Society who are staging their annual production after Christmas. They were chased by the Evil Sheriff of Nottingham who was booed by the crowd at the urging of MC Maurice McCarthy.
The parade told the story of the seasonal lead-up to Christmas as Autumn leaves begin to fall, the evenings become darker and the Santa season arrives in a glittering festival of twinkling lights and baubles.
Families crowded the streets and sat on adult shoulders to catch a good view as the parade passed by with elves collecting letters from eager children who screamed with excitement as Santa eventually took to the stage on the quay. Everyone counted down as the Mayor of Wexford Cllr. Tony Dempsey waited to switch on a forest of twinkling Christmas trees beside the harbour and a brand new set of silver and gold lights stringing the length of the the Main Street which were paid for by Wexford Borough District Council. The Pantomime Society Choir sang.
There was a loud explosion of colour and everyone looked skyward to marvel at a firworks display which temporarily outshone the Christmas lights on the ground.
The Wexford People Wexford on Ice, one of Ireland's biggest and best ice skating rinks also opened on the quay and will be open every day until January 6 with the exception of Christmas day.
The Christmas Express train also rolled back into town last weekend and will be operating from this coming Saturday, December 1 winding its way around the streets carrying children and parents on a magical experience while listening to special festive stories from Ellie the Elf.
Sant'a North Pole Experience on the quayfront where children can wander around the Enchanged Forest and see the Elves Village and Workshop before visiting Santa Claus will be open from this coming Friday, November 30.
Wexford Winterland is an economic initiative of Wexford County Council, in partnership with Wexford Retailers and Lantern Events.
Tickets for The Wexford People Wexford on Ice, The Christmas