PATRICK STREET has been the centre of a lot of attention over the last few months due to the traffic ban but it was all smiles last night as thousands gathered to watch the Lord Mayor turn on the Christmas lights.
With some city traders saying their businesses continue to struggle as a result of the city centre movement strategy, everyone is hoping for a busy festive period to end the year on a high.
Lord Mayor Mick Finn did his bit for Cork businesses at the ceremony, reminding the gathered crowd of the importance of thinking locally when it comes to Christmas shopping. “I would encourage people to come into the city to experience this wonderful free family festive event and to shop local for Christmas and help keep jobs and shops alive in Cork,” he said, before pushing ‘de switch’ to mark the start of the festive season.
Santa Claus was in attendance to help get the Cork Christmas off to a flying start and The Academy of Popular Music performed a selection of much-loved festive songs including ‘All I Want For Christmas’, ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ and ‘Fairytale of New York’. They were joined on stage by the Cork Deaf Choir who signed and sang a selection of Christmas songs.
The crisp clear night made for perfect conditions to enjoy the ceremony, although the moment the lights were turned on was marked with a brief flurry of ‘snow’.
In addition to the Christmas lights and decorated shop fronts throughout the city centre, from the end of this month, Cork shoppers can also enjoy the annual Glow celebration. It takes place on selected dates from Friday, November 30, with the Ferris Wheel open each day from noon to 9pm.
Shoppers can also take advantage of increased parking incentives, announced by Cork City Council last week in response to criticism from businesses.
From now until January 12, parking in Paul St car park is free from 5pm to midnight and free in North Main St from 5pm to 9.30pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.