PHOTOS: 20,000 people join Vicky Phelan and family welcome Christmas in Limerick 2018

Christmas in Limerick 2018

Christmas in Limerick 2018 was welcomed by all present at the Light Up Limerick ceremony which took place on Sunday, November 18. With over 20,000 residents, special guest of honour, Vicky Phelan and her family along with Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen joined Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins light up the streets of Limerick. They were joined by Santa Claus and the Elves from the North Pole. Picture: Sean Curtin/True Media

20,000 people join Vicky Phelan and family welcome Christmas in Limerick 2018

Garda estimates of just over 20,000 people, at this year’s Light Up Limerick ceremony. Families from across Limerick, turned out at the heart of O’Connell Street on Sunday evening for the official turning on of the city’s Christmas Lights launching Christmas in Limerick 2018.

Special guest of honour, Vicky Phelan and her family along with Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen joined Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins at the Light Up Limerick ceremony. They were also joined by Santa Claus and the Elves from the North Pole to welcome Christmas in Limerick 2018.

 

Performances began at 4:30 pm. Entertaining the gathered residents of Limerick were street performers and special guests including the Corpus Christi School Choir, members of the Limerick Panto Society, Limerick Gospel Choir and Myles Breen from the Snow White panto at UCH. The performances were a build-up to the main event – the turning on of the lights.

Those gathered were treated to a fireworks display while the snow machine ensured the children enjoyed the onset of Christmas in Limerick 2018. All present sang Christmas songs and gave a warm welcome to Christmas in Limerick 2018 while enjoying the spectacular display of LED Christmas lights across the city centre.


 

Earlier in the day the Liveable Limerick team presented their Charity Christmas Dash, during which O’Connell Street was taken over by Santa Clauses as they took part in a variety of races including the Mr & Mrs Claus’s three-legged race, a celebrity dash, wheelchair dash and sack race.  All proceeds went to Novas and the Peter McVerry Trust.


Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins said: “Light Up Limerick in the heart of the city centre this evening was a fantastic family-friendly event full of the wonder and awe of what Christmas represents.  I was delighted that Vicky and her family were my guests of honour.  Her determination for justice has struck a chord with the people of Limerick and Ireland and this is a way we can show her our support.

“Light Up Limerick is the start of a wonderful festive season across the city and county and I would encourage everyone to get out and about and enjoy the festivities Christmas in Limerick 2018 locally.” 

Special Guest of Honour for the evening was Vicky Phelan joined by her family.  Vicky said she was very excited to be at Light Up Limerick ceremony this year: “The biggest reason for me to be excited was that I didn’t think I’d be here, to be honest, at the start of the year.  That’s what makes it all the more special for us this year.  To be able to come into Light Up Limerick in the good of my health and no pain, it’s great, because, last Christmas I wasn’t really well at all.  I’m revelling in it all, to see all the crowds here, the support on Twitter, I can’t believe how many people are here already.

“My son Darragh has been looking forward to it since he found out we would be turning on the Christmas lights, we bought Christmas jumpers and hats.  The plan is to have a lovely Christmas at home with family and friends,” she added.


Laura Ryan, Head of Marketing and Communications at Limerick City and County Council, said:  “Light Up Limerick always creates a real sense of excitement and anticipation about Christmas in Limerick 2018.  This year there is a packed calendar in Limerick full of family fun events, shopping offers, live music and craft fairs on offer. A six-week campaign showcasing just how special Limerick is at Christmas time is now underway and we’re inviting everyone to come and enjoy Christmas In Limerick.”

Limerick Culture and Arts Officer Sheila Deegan added: “Light up Limerick was a fantastic civic event to celebrate the start of the season of Christmas in Limerick 2018.  We’re delighted that so many people came into the city centre to enjoy it with us. This opportunity to invest in culture and to bring new energy, synergies and events of scale to our citizens is a direct result of the Limerick Cultural Strategy and the strategic decision by the Council to invest further in the culture in Limerick.”

Christmas in Limerick 2018

Jim Phelan with his son Darragh at the Light up Limerick for Christmas in Limerick 2018. Picture: Sean Curtin/ True Media

As part of Christmas in Limerick, hundreds of additional free car parking spaces will be provided with Park & Strides and Park & Rides available around the city.  New sites this year include the Irish Rail Depot, Great National South Court Hotel in Raheen and University of Limerick.

As always parking in the city centre is available on-street and on multi-storey car parks.  Download the Limerick e-parking app, or pay by phone or disc.  On-street car parking is free after 5.30pm daily and is always free on Sundays.

In Abbeyfeale, Kilmallock and Newcastle West, motorists will get an extra two hours free parking from 2.30pm daily from 07 until 31 December inclusive. They already have their first hour free.

The Christmas in Limerick 2018 programme is being coordinated by Limerick City and County Council’s Culture & Arts Department and the Marketing & Communications Department.

All details about what’s on in Christmas in Limerick 2018 will be available in the Christmas In Limerick 2018 brochure available from Sunday with 100,000 copies to be distributed across the mid-west.

For more information on Christmas in Limerick 2018, go here

For more stories on Christmas in Limerick, go here

Picture: Baoyan Zhang/ilovelimerick

 

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