The turning on of the Christmas lights took place at Athlone Castle yesterday evening, Wednesday, heralding the official beginning of the lead-up to Christmas in the town.
The festivities got underway at 5.30pm, culminating in the turning on of the lights by Mayor of Athlone Municipal District, Cllr John Dolan. Performances from a number of local choirs including Angie Bannon and the Coosan Folk Group and the children from Mary Whelan-Fox’s School of Speech & Drama, as well as Christmas characters from local street theatre company Tonnta, were on hand to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.
Santa himself made a special appearance for the occasion, and Savoury Fare provided hot chocolate to keep the chill away.
Mayor John Dolan congratulated Athlone Castle and all the organisers for making it “an exciting, colourful, and musical event for the town”, and welcomed the efforts of local businesses to showcase all that Athlone has to offer.
President of Athlone Chamber John McGrath said: “The fact that so many organisations and volunteers are involved is a testament to the work being carried out across a number of communities and organisations such as the local authority, businesses through the Chamber of Commerce and Destination Athlone, Athlone Arts and Tourism, etcetera.
“We urge people to consider supporting local this Christmas and thinking twice before spending their money elsewhere when locally it can provide a better future for generations to come.”