Show your gratitude to those who paid for the lights as Christmas market kicks off

Shoppers who enjoy the Christmas lights which will be switched on in the city tomorrow evening will this year know which businesses actually paid for their installation, because they will be displaying special Follow The Lights stickers handed out by the Galway City Business Association.

The stickers which have been produced by the association in conjunction with the Galway Advertiser will give special recognition to those businesses which dug into their pockets to make sure the city streets were lit with festive illuminations from this weekend.

The stickers and posters which are shown here will go someway to emphasising that not all of the city centre businesses paid for the lighting, although they will benefit from the footfall generated by their installation.

The lights will be switched on tomorrow evening by Mayor of Galway Hildegarde Naughton and will coincide with the official launch of the Galway Continental Christmas market.

Due to the phenomenal success of last year’s event which attracted more than 600,000 visitors, Galway city will once again be turned into a Winter Wonderland as the city hosts its second Continental Christmas Market. The market, set in the gateway to Galway’s main shopping streets, promises to be the highlight of the Christmas season for the entire west of Ireland.

Events to launch the Christmas Market and the turning on of the city’s Christmas lights will commence with a musical treat in Eyre Square. Tenors Sean Costello and Frank Naughton performing as ‘Duo Voci’ will take to the stage at 5:40pm and after short speeches from the event organisers – the Galway City Business Association – Mayor Naughton will officially turn on the lights at 6pm under the supervision of VIP guests, Santa Claus and Mrs Claus, with Bob the Builder and friends.

Continuing the celebrations, Duo Voci’will take to the stage again followed by the Galway Choral Society.

Chairman of the Galway City Business Association, Paul Faller said that the Galway City Business Association is delighted to welcome the Christmas Market to Galway for the second year.

"Last year’s market attracted over 600,000 visitors with over 130,000 stating that the main reason for visiting Galway was to see the market. Our Mayor, Hildegarde Naughton, will turn on the Christmas lights on Friday next and officially open the market.

"Everybody is welcome to come to Eyre Square next Friday at 6pm. Enjoy the Santa Grotto and see over 50 traders selling food and gifts - there is something for everyone”.

Along with continental decorations, gifts and more, the Galway Continental Christmas Market will again feature a food section with delicacies from around the world including festive gluhwein, German pretzel, Polish sausage, Belgian macaroons and much more.

The Christmas Market Big Top – the artisan food and craft market arena - is a great new attraction for people to engage in Christmas workshops. The market provides the city with a festive atmosphere that is a wonderful attraction for people to visit Galway along with bring festive cheer to the city shoppers.

The Galway Continental Christmas Market will open from 10am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and from 12 noon to 8pm on Sunday. Santa’s Grotto – in aid of Enable Ireland and the ISPCC – will open Fridays 4pm-7pm (excluding this Friday where it will open 7pm-9pm ), Saturday’s 10am to 7pm and Sundays 12 noon to 6pm.

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