It is estimated that between three and four thousand people attended Moate’s Christmas market this year, which was organised by Moate Partnership Group.
The finest local produce was on sale from the 60 stalls in operation, most of the town’s traders were open, and all stallholders and traders reported very strong sales, some reporting their biggest day sales in years. The market took place along the wide footpath in the town centre. The stalls faced in towards the buildings creating a natural walkway and thoroughfare.
Right from the beginning of the market there was a warm festive atmosphere. A fire pit of burning logs, designed by Thomas McCormack, greeted people as they entered. At 3pm there was a Garda escort for Santa Claus, who was driven into the town by Jim Dunne. Santa then made his way to his grotto where he met hundreds of children.
Many local musicians could be heard along the street, including Camillus Hiney and Co, Adrian Rabbitt and Athlone Acappella Group. Local magician Oisin Foley fascinated market-goers with his act outside Eamon Coughlan’s, and there was a festive dance by traditional dancing sisters, The Celtic Blondes.
Speaking this week, local councillor Michael O’Brien said: “It was a massive success and the weather was perfect. I’d like to commend our committee who worked so hard for the past three months organising the event, and our stewards and volunteers who did Trojan work on the day, without them the market would not be possible.
“The Christmas lights were looking beautiful for the market too, so I’d like to thank all the volunteers who helped us to insert the new light bulbs. Thanks also to the council, whose financial support means that the lights are costing us much less this year. A special thanks also to Lily May’s Bistro, P Egan’s Bar, SuperValu, Crozier Auto Parts, and Gillivan Brothers for allowing us to use their power supply, it’s very much appreciated.”