Santa comes to town

SANTA Claus will be making an early visit to Portlaoise this week to switch on the town’s new Christmas lights.

SANTA Claus will be making an early visit to Portlaoise this week to switch on the town’s new Christmas lights.

The Portlaoise Downtown group is delighted that the man himself could take some time out of his hectic schedule this Friday, November 23 at 5pm outside Shaw’s on Lower Main St.

Alison Browne is PRO of the Portlaoise traders group. She said the traders were honoured Santa could make it to switch on the lights which have been given a upgrade this year.

“The kids want to see Santa turn them on and all are welcome. Catherine Whelan’s

“Christmas choir will be singing carols and Santa will arrive in a horse drawn caravan. The new lights will be switched on we’ve bought some new lights this year to ‘jazz things up a bit’,” she said.

This year there will be trees lit up on Main St and there will also be some lights added to some features such as a tree in Lyster Sq.

Allison said this is the first year of the overhaul of the Christmas lights in town. From now on the Portlaoise Traders will fund new lights around the town.

Ms Brown thanked Laois County Council, businesses, banks and local people for helping fund the new lights and the running costs.

The light switch on is the first of number of festive events planned by Portlaoise Downtown.

Santa has promised to be on hand to meet the kids at a grotto each weekend up to Christmas at Lower Main St except on the final weekend when he will do a “walkabout”.

For the second year running the Portlaoise Dowtown is hosting a Christmas Market.

On Sunday, December 2 there will be a chance to pick up a Christmas gift in the town centre on Main St. A host of local choirs have also volunteered to sing right through the day.