By Dan Walsh at Enniscorthy
The largest crowd seen in Market Square for many a day turned out in Enniscorthy for tonight’s much anticipated switch-on of the Christmas lights when Santa Claus visited the town centre for the first time in three years.
The bearded celebrity waved and yelled ‘Ho! Ho! Ho! Hit the giant switch with adequate force and darkness turned into brightness and merriment as his devoted fan base were there in big numbers to meet, greet, deliver their letters and have their photo taken.
Santa and Mrs. Claus set out for Market Square in the company of dancers, rock ‘n’ rollers, cartoon characters and other little friends and took the longer route via Church St and Rafter St where crowds had gathered in such large numbers that only the walkers completed the circuit and were given an enthusiastic reception.
Cathaoirleach of Enniscorthy Municipal District Cllr Aidan Browne was pleasantly surprised at the size of the crowds, called on them to have an enjoyable time and thanked them for turning out, and he also complimented the Council and Chamber and everybody who either organised or contributed in any way to the success of the occasion and his personal message was clear “Shop Local this Christmas” and support the business and the jobs in Enniscorthy.
The attendance included Minister James Browne, Deputies Paul Kehoe and Johnny Mythen, Cllrs Jackser Owens, John O’Rourke, Cathal Byrne and Barbara-Anne Murphy. An apology publicly acknowledged the unavoidable absence of Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan. Bernie Quigley, Acting District Manager, Enniscorthy Municipal Council and Jimmy Gahan, Enniscorthy Chamber of Commerce, worked behind the scenes to make it all come together.
Traffic management was in the hands of staff from Enniscorthy Municipal District Council and An Garda Siochána ensured public safety with an emphasis on the large numbers of small children who came out to meet the hero of the season – Santa Claus.
Enniscorthy Municipal District in partnership with the National 1798 Centre, Wexford County Council and supporting sponsor The Riverside Park Hotel are delighted to announce www.santasenchantedchristmas.ie will open its doors tomorrow (Saturday) at 2.45pm and will run five days weekly Wednesday to Sunday until December 22nd. An expanded Christmas experience is in the making for patrons with the magical set and show theme produced by local groups Rathnure Panto Society and Red Moon Theatre.
Patrons can check-in on the grounds before entering through the big red door for an enchanted forty-five-minute tour. There will be plenty of elements of surprise as you wander through the multi room spaces with gnomes causing mayhem along the way.
Mrs. Claus, helped by her elves will entertain and transport the kids to be gifted by Santa with time to catch the moment on camera. Patrons can arrange a further free trip to Enniscorthy Castle in their own time where a walk through the ground floor festive workshop by the North Two Madness team awaits discovery by all ticket holders, during their normal opening hours.