New Year’s Eve fireworks, a festive family train, a Santa selfie spot, a seasonal craft fair and hundreds of extra free car spaces are some of the highlights of Limerick city this Christmas as the festive season officially kicks off this weekend.
The reigning Rose of Tralee, Limerick’s Dr Sinéad Flanagan will be the Mayor’s special guest as Christmas in Limerick is officially launched this Sunday [17 Nov] with the turning on of the city’s spectacular LED Christmas lights at Light Up Limerick.
Limerick Youth Choir and Zion Vocal Ensemble will perform for the crowd and get them into the Christmas spirit while Panto characters from Limerick Panto Society’s Beauty and the Beast at the Lime Tree Theatre, and The Specsavers Limerick Panto Aladdin at the University Concert Hall will also entertain.
Street performers will mingle through the crowd as Limerick celebrates the start of the festive season. Thousands of people are expected to attend the Light up Limerick event organised by Limerick City and County Council, which takes place on O’Connell Street from 4.30pm.
Limerick city centre will be a hive of activity earlier on Sunday as members of the public are invited to join Liveable Limerick in the Charity Xmas Dash on O’Connell Street from 2pm until 4pm. Why not come in festive fancy dress and take part in the three-legged races, wheelchair dash or sack races. All proceeds raised go to Novas and the Peter McVerry Trust.
A feast of fireworks is on the menu for New Year’s Eve as a Fireworks Spectacular will be a fitting finale to the Christmas in Limerick celebrations. The fireworks begin at 7pm on Tue 31 Dec and are an ideal way to start off the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Bring along all the family to watch Limerick’s night sky turn every colour of the rainbow. The best viewing points are Clancy’s Strand and Sarsfield Bridge.
Christmas at the Urban Garden (outside Penneys) will be a hub of activity between now and the big day. Soak up the festive sights and city lights in the heart of Limerick’s shopping district. Santa’s snow topped cabin by Matthew Stephens Jewellers, Toots the Train, festive music and the Santa Sleigh selfie spot await you under the twinkling lights of Limerick’s 35ft Christmas tree!
Christmas in Limerick 2019 is delighted to welcome back the award winning Toots Christmas Train for the festive season.
Toots the Train will travel around the city centre allowing families to experience the spectacular line up of festive events, traditional food and craft markets, exciting entertainment and the impressive display of Christmas lights.
Light Up Limerick kicks off more than a month of festivities and family friendly events across the city which include:
- Toots Christmas Train - Hop on board the award winning ‘Toots the Train’ and travel through the heart of the city and experience the festive sights and sounds and the Christmas lights!
- Limerick on Ice at Arthur’s Quay is a firm family favourite, so you can get out and practice your skating. Experience the magic of ice skating at one of Limerick’s most celebrated Christmas attractions! Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a complete beginner, this is a great day out for all to enjoy.
- 8 Days of Christmas at Limerick Milk Market - Christmas cheer is in the air with a range of themed markets, handmade crafts and gifts, seasonal foods, local fashion and festive fun. Throughout December, there will be a special Santa letter service, and a visit from the man himself on Saturday 14 December!
- Big Names After Dark – Limerick is the place to be this Christmas with a host of big names performing. Ardal O’Hanlon, Wild Youth, Hudson Taylor, Walking on Cars, Delorentos, The 4 of Us, Nathan Carter, Phil Coulter and our own Blindboy are just some of the top name acts performing in Limerick over Christmas
- Festive Craft Fair – Local artisan traders will showcase wonderful handmade crafts, art and seasonal treats to get shoppers into the Christmas spirit on Limerick’s Cruises Street.
- New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Get your New Year’s Eve celebrations underway with a spectacular fireworks display over the River Shannon. This family friendly event will be a fitting finale to the Christmas festivities and will kickstart your New Year’s Eve celebrations at a family friendly time of 7pm.
- County Fare – Santa will be getting a fair idea of what the boys and girls across Limerick want for Christmas as he is popping up across Limerick in the run up to the Big Day! Special Santa’s Grottos are in Lough Gur, Stonehall Wildlife Park, D&M Garden Centre in Croagh. Kilmallock has a Christmas Market, while Rockbarton Garden Centre Bruff is hosting a Christmas Wreath Workshop.
- Sport – Family and friends will be able to gather at various sporting events over Christmas. The annual Christmas Racing Festival in Limerick Racecourse is the biggest of the year, while Munster v Leinster will no doubt be a sell-out, with greyhound racing also a popular night out.
To make Christmas in Limerick even more accessible, hundreds of additional free car parking spaces will be provided with Park & Strides and Park & Rides available around the city. Locations include the Council’s Car Park at Merchant’s Quay, Cleeve’s, the Irish Rail Depot, Great National South Court Hotel in Raheen and University of Limerick.
Free Park & Stride (9am to 9pm)
- Cleeve’s Site, O’Callaghan Strand from 06 to 31 Dec inclusive
- Limerick City and County Council Car Park, via Nicholas Street on 07 & 08, 14 & 15 and 22 & 22 and 24 Dec inclusive
- Irish Rail Depot, Roxboro Road on 07 & 08 and 14 – 24 Dec inclusive
Park & Ride (9am to 9pm)
- The Great National South Court Hotel, Raheen 07 & 08, 14 & 15, 21 & 22 Dec inclusive
- University of Limerick 08 & 09, 15 & 16, 22 & 23 Dec inclusive
Motorists using the Park & Rides will then board regular Bus Éireann scheduled services 304 and 304A (from the Stables Complex at UL and opposite St Nessan’s Church in Raheen) and Dublin Coach services 307 and 308 from the Stables Complex at UL.
Parking in the city centre is available on-street and in 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, shoppers will get an extra two hours free parking in each of the towns from 2.30pm daily from 07 until 31 Dec inclusive. This is in addition to the first hour free.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Sheahan said: “Christmas is such a wonderful time of year, and it is magical in Limerick, with the lights turned on, the atmosphere is truly memorable.”
“Christmas is a time for families and friends to get together I’m hoping they will come out in force to celebrate Christmas in Limerick, beginning with Light Up Limerick.”
“Christmas is a time to take stock and I’m urging everyone across Limerick city and county to come out in force, shop local and support our businesses.”
Laura Ryan, Head of Marketing and Communications with Limerick City and County Council said: “An eight week campaign showcasing just how special Limerick is at Christmas time is now underway and I’m delighted that we have so many family friendly and sensory friendly experiences highlighted this year.
“Our aim is to showcase the packed calendar of events across Limerick and particularly the unique city centre atmosphere that make Limerick special at Christmas time. I’d encourage everyone to keep an eye on our website at Limerick.ie/Christmas and follow us on our Christmas social media for gift ideas, competitions and festive updates.”
Dee Ryan, CEO of Limerick Chamber said: “Limerick is a special place at Christmas. Those of us born here and those who have happily come to call Limerick home in recent years,know just how atmospheric our city centre is during the bustling festive season. Our retailers go to great lengths to decorate their premises and collaborate with the local authority to create a welcome that is uniquely Limerick. Whether you’re in town to do your shopping, try ice-skating or simply to grab a hot chocolate, you can’t beat the experience.”
Sheila Deegan, Culture & Arts Officer with Limerick City and County Council added: “Christmas in Limerick is one my favourite times of the year and the Christmas experience will be kick started on Sunday as family and friends gather together for the biggest turning on of the lights event in Limerick, Light Up Limerick.”
“We are delighted to be working to create a focus at the Urban Garden this year working with stakeholders to deliver lively cultural offerings in the city centre, complimented by a Christmas Fair on Cruises Street to get shoppers into the Christmas spirit.”
The Christmas in Limerick programme is being co-ordinated by Limerick City and County Council’s Culture & Arts and Marketing & Communications Departments.
Christmas in Limerick is supported by Limerick Post, Limerick Chamber, Limerick Leader, Live 95 and Spin South West.
All details about what’s on over the Christmas period in Limerick will be available in the Christmas In Limerick 2019 event guide online and will be distributed throughout Limerick.
Keep up to date with all things Christmas in Limerick via: