Katie, Sophie and Sophie from Abbeyleix South NS watching the Christmas lights turn on at theAbbeyleix Christmas Market and Craft Fair. Picture: Alf Harvey.
From fire breathers to slime workshops and over 30 market stalls, Abbeyleix will come alive this weekend for its hugely successful Christmas market.
One of the longest-running Christmas markets in Laois, the Abbeyleix Christmas Market & Craft Fair, will return to its home in the Market Square, this Saturday, December 8.
Now running for its 7th year, the Christmas market – which is presented by Abbeyleix Business & Community Development Forum will launch the festive season and the town’s ‘Shop Local’ campaign.
Building on the successful format of previous years, the market will be a hive of activity with lots of entertainment promised.
Over thirty traders from all over the county and further afield will be selling a host of crafts, festive food, treats and Christmas gift ideas.
The large audience of market-goers can also enjoy a live entertainment programme throughout the evening with entertainment being provided by, street entertainers, Fire eaters, old style games, local musicians and choirs.
Among the many popular features due to make a welcome return to the market are the switching on of the Christmas lights by two very special young guests, one from Scoil Mhuire and the other from Abbeyleix South National School.
The hardworking Christmas Lights committee and local CE scheme have once again pulled out all the stops to ensure that all of the trees will be dressed and ready to light up the town on the night.
Fire artists from Dublin Circus Project will juggle, spin and hoop to ensure an enthralling afternoon of entertainment. Jugglers and stilt walkers will also entertain and engage with market revellers heralding the arrival of the festive season.
With Christmas slime workshops and outings from the Parish Choir, South School and Scoil Mhuire Choirs, Spink Comhaltas and a wealth of local performers there will be something to keep the whole family entertained.
Market and Lights members will be in attendance if anyone wishes to donate towards the big expense of running and maintaining both the market and lights annually.
Robbie Quinn is on the market organising committee.
“The Abbeyleix Christmas Market is not just a market; it kicks off the Christmas experience and now has become part of the Christmas tradition for many people! We have received fantastic feedback regarding last year’s atmosphere and offering at the market and look forward to delighting visitors again this year," he said.
All Abbeyleix awaits is the word from the big man to confirm his arrival time from his hectic schedule to attend on the night. He pays special tribute to the local businesses who each year raise the standard of Christmas window displays.
It’s a joy for adults and families alike to spend an hour walking around town viewing each of the windows and maybe browsing the shops and cafes, many of which are remaining open late for the event.
Without this continued support, there would be no Christmas Market or lights on the trees.
The Abbeyleix Christmas Market & Craft Fair 2018 takes place on 8th December 2018, from 4 pm – 8 pm. There will be parking restrictions around the square on Friday night / Saturday morning but the farmers market will trade as normal until lunchtime. Expect delays in both directions through town.
For more information, check out the Abbeyleix Facebook page. Interested traders should email email@example.com to check stall availability as booking is essential this year.