No switching on of the lights party this year but children have still been able to enjoy the magic of Christmas.
As if the children of Drogheda had not put up with enough already this year, what with missing out on so much school, not getting to play with their friends and being confined to the house for what seemed like years on end, the official switching on of the Christmas lights party also had to be cancelled at the last minute.
There may not have been a street party fo but one thing's for sure, Santa is definitely on his way.
The lights are on and what a beautiful show they make. The team from Love Drogheda have really excelled themselves with an extra €16,000 spent this year on new features including a 100m long canopy of lights in Stockwell Street bringing the total bill to €40,000.
In normal years the switching on of the lights is a big occasion, one that is much loved and marks the beginning of Christmas with a party in West Street, carol singing and of course the main man, Santa Claus himself, busy and all as he is, always made an appearance.
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Many generations of Drogheda people will have happy memories of standing out in the cold in West Street with their Mammy and Daddy waiting for Santa to arrive and then the countdown from ten for the lights to come on.
A few years ago the lights failed to come on straight away and, for a second or two, the expressions on the sea of little faces turned from excited to disappointed.
Someone in ESB headquarters had obviously fallen asleep at his or her control panel and didn’t get the message straight away. Second time round though, all went well and Christmas in Drogheda had finally started.
A short time later a “Ho Ho Ho” could be heard coming from the skies above the Moorland Café and, in what seemed like no time at all, Santa appeared, from where nobody quite knew.This year of all years the message, and it’s a very important one, is to “SHOP LOCAL”
“We hope that the lighting display will encourage people to visit our wonderful stores, cafes, bars and restaurants over the next number of months and show your support for your local town” said a Love Drogheda spokesperson. “It is needed now more than ever before.
This Friday the 26th of November is a huge day in retail called Black Friday. We are calling on the people of Drogheda to help make this Friday a Green Friday in Drogheda by coming into town and supporting our local stores and businesses in a safe and appropriate manner!
Referring to the last minute decision to cancel the switching on of the lights party the spokesperson said:
"While it is recognised and understood that many other businesses and organisations have, and indeed need, to continue to operate, essentially to stay in business, it was not essential for the good of our town or our organisation for us to continue to host the event.
"A decision was taken to cancel the event and all performances were cancelled to the disappointment of many parents and children who wanted to attend what would have been a large festive event.
“Our main objective this year was a fantastic lighting display for our town which we believe we have delivered, and we do hope that locals, visitors, and especially our children, do continue to enjoy as ever the magic of Christmas this year in Drogheda.”
The Christmas Lights are on and people are encouraged to visit our wonderful town centre. If you haven't a clue what to buy someone you can always get them a Love Drogheda Gift Card. That way they can look forwad to a shopping spree after Christmas and get the gifts they really want.
Just click the advert at the bottom of this page and you could have your Christmas shopping done in a matter of minutes!