CE scheme staff at the Christmas Tree in Mountmellick
The community spirit in Mountmellick is even stronger since the town was flooded last Wednesday, and despite the setback, it is preparing for Christmas to kick off this Friday December 1.
The town's famous Christmas Tree is planned to light up on Friday evening, as it traditionally does before the Late Late Toy Show. See more on the tradition here.
This year work was delayed, but the beautiful painted crib is in place and Community Scheme employees are working hard on the tree, overseen by Ger Lynch, lifetime volunteer on the Christmas Tree committee.
"We are behind schedule. Our shed where we store the lights was flooded too, most weren't affected but we are testing the lights today. We will see how today goes," Ger told the Leinster Express last Tuesday.
However by Thursday, the good news was announced that the tree will light at 8.15pm on Friday.
Meanwhile the 6th annual Mountmellick Christmas Fair takes place this Sunday December 3, when marquees will fill the square at the foot of the tree.
"Join us this Sunday from 1pm to 6pm, around our fantastic Christmas Tree. Soak up the festive atmosphere as you sip a mulled wine and enjoy a fun filled day," the committee have invited.
The much anticipated fair will have fifty stalls this year selling arts, crafts and food. There will be live entertainment from local choirs and children's groups. Santa Claus will be waiting to meet little visitors in his grotto, and there will be facepainting and the Bumble Bus. There is also a raffle to win a giant trailerload of food among many other prizes.
The fair will hold collections for Mountmellick Flood Relief Fund, and will accept items for the homeless to give to Portlaoise Action to Homelessness (PATH).
Earlier at 11am on Sunday morning, a fundraising 5km Fun Run/Walk in aid of flood victims sets off from the Monument on Wolfe Tone Street. It is organised by Edel Watchorne, with help from Sean Connolly of Connolly Dairy Products, Collette Crofton O’Connell and Noel Coss from Mountmellick Panthers and Mountmellick Athletes club. Registration is €10 for adults, and €20 for families.
The town has a warm Christmas tradition, including bringing Santy to the hall again at Mountmellick Community Arts Centre, on Sunday December 17, with a free gift for every child in the town.
The committee also deliver free fuel to the elderly. Mountmellick Christmas lights are also expected to be switched on this weekend.
Below: Mountmellick Christmas Fair.