Christmas got into full swing in Newtownforbes last week as people gathered in the village to see the lights switched on.
Excited children waited for the lights in the grounds of St Mary's Church in the hopes of also meeting Santa, who took time out of his busy schedule at the North Pole to pay a visit.
Santa was escorted down Main Street by Gardai and seven loyal elves, as well as Cinderella the miniature falabella pony and PingPong the pygmy goat, both dressed in festive garb.
The event, which took place on December 5, was organised over several weeks by the Tidy Towns Committee, with Vice Chair Enda O'Brien calling it “a brilliant, fantastic success”.
She said, “I'd say there were a hundred at it, maybe a hundred and fifty. The children loved it. There was a barrel top caravan done up with Santa decorations and all of that as well. It was beautiful, the whole thing was beautiful.”
Children snapped photos with Santa in his outdoor grotto and got the chance to meet Dustin the live bronze turkey and Phisher the fleming giant rabbit as well.
According to Enda, Covid-19 guidelines were kept well in mind at the event.
She said, “We had to steward it to make sure everyone was within their family pods and socially distanced and everything.
Adults were all in masks and doing what they were supposed to do.” Although sweets are usually given out at the gathering, they were sent to schools ahead of time. However, she said the kids “didn't even miss them”.
She said, “They were so excited with what was going on and what was there to be seen”.
The Tidy Towns Committee extended thanks to Father McGovern, who blessed the crib on the night and gave permission for the event to be hosted on the grounds of the church, as well as “everyone who helped with the success of the event”.
Enda hopes there will be a repeat next year and that circumstances will allow it to be even better and bigger.
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