Christmas officially starts in Portlaoise this weekend with an exciting day at Portlaoise Christmas Market.
There will be over 60 stalls all along the Main Street, selling the best of festive gifts, ornaments, crafts and tasty treats, many from local producers.
The market will be open from 11am to 6pm this Sunday November 24.
Santa will arrive at 2pm for photo opportunities with families in his “Santa’s Hut”.
Then local soprano Stacey Dunne will perform Christmas Carols and songs in the Market Square before the local Childrens Choir takes over right up to Santa turning on the Christmas lights at 4:30.
A competition is running on the Downtown Portlaoise Facebook this week to select a child to be “Santa’s little helper” and help him flick the switch to turn on the lights. There is also a draw for a giant hamper on the day.
They hope to see a great crowd for the start of the Christmas festivities in Portlaoise.
A family friendly fee of €5 per child will cover a visit to Santa, the pet corner and face painting.
The market is organised by Downtown Portlaoise traders group. Mark Healy is chairperson.
“We organise it to bring the local community together and officially launch the Christmas Season in Portlaoise. Christmas is a busy time of the year for all local retailers, but it is important for us not to forget that Christmas is really a time for family, friends and community and we feel this is our way of giving back to the community. It is always a fantastic day out with a great sense of fun throughout the day. It would not be possible without the support of Laois County Council and Laois Hire,” he said.
The public are asked not to leave cars parked in Top Square or the Main Street on Saturday night as the streets will be closed off to cars from 7am on Sunday morning.