The official switching on of the Christmas lights in Letterkenny took place last night with businesses hoping it kick-starts the festive shopping spree.
Hundreds of hardy souls braved the snow and freezing temperatures to see Town Mayor Tadhg Culbert flick the switch on the lights at 6pm in Market Square.
Santa was accompanied by his elves and backed by some beautiful singing by the students of the Encore Performing Arts Academy.
Letterkenny’s Christmas lights are only made possible with the support of Letterkenny Town Council.
However the local Chamber of Commerce paid tribute to a number of local businesses including Watson Hire, Oatfield Sweets, Value Center, Dunnes Stores and Michael McFadden Electrical Contractor who help[ed supply goodies for all the children young and old who turned up.
The lights will twinkle right through to January and not forgetting the beautiful Christmas tree outside the court house, supplied by Coillte that is once again decorated with red bows handmade by Aidshelp Northwest for World Aids Day.
CEO of Letterkenny Chamber, Toni Forrester, said she was confident the Cathedral Town was in line for one of its busiest in a number of years.
She said the signs are already good with a huge number of people already buying the Shop Letterkenny vouchers.
“The signs are good. More than 85 businesses are involved in the Shop Letterkenny campaign and it has got off to a great start with a lot of orders.
“Last year we sold €205,000 worth of vouchers – up from around €180,000 the previous year. All the signs are that we can beat that figure again,” she said.
And she said that people are starting to get the message that shopping at home really does pay.
“With the stronger sterling and the bad weather, people are shopping here in Letterkenny and the message is getting across that there are plenty of bargains to be had.
“Our message is for people to go out and see the bargains for themselves. We have been telling people all along that there is great value at home and now they are beginning to see that for themselves,” she said.
The Christmas lights in Letterkenny will remain up until around January 6th.
Picture by Trout Events.