A BUMPER festival of racing, a mouth-watering interprovincial rugby clash and the wrap-up event for City of Culture are just three of the many events taking place this festive season locally.
And if you fancy a bracing swim or lung-bursting forest walk, there are plenty of activities happening across Limerick to occupy the holidays.
The four0-day race meeting in Limerick, starting on Stephen’s Day, is expected to draw record crowds, with over 10,000 punters expected alone this December 26.
Limerick Racecourse is running a free bus service leaving the Augustinian Church at 11.45am each day and returning to the city at 6pm, and RTE will televise the feature race live on each of the four days. Music will follow the racing, while Saturday is Ladies’ Day and a Greenmount Grotto will be present to keep the kids entertained on December 29.
Munster face old rivals Leinster on Stephen’s Day at 5pm in Thomond Park, with just a handful of tickets remaining on sale.
The province are going into the tasty tussle smarting from three defeats in a row and will be keen to make amends against Leinster, in a match which will be broadcast on TG4.
Limerick’s year as City of Culture will come to an end with a Winter Carnival on December 27, which has a strong emphasis on family events.
A Disney Frozen Sing-A-Long in LSAD, a Carnival Extravaganza in the Milk Market, Are You Dancing in John’s Square, an outdoor projection portrait in the city and a concert in St Mary’s Cathedral, Phoenix Rising, which will see the RTÉ Concert Orchestra present the music of Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, will all take place.
Director Mike Fitzpatrick, said he was “looking forward to seeing you out and about to enjoy the wrap-up event of what has been a fun-filled exciting year.
“It’s goodbye to Limerick City of Culture as we sign off this year and look forward to our journey towards European Capital of Culture 2020.”The concert will form part of a programme on TG4 on January 16 at 8pm called Lumen i Luimneach, while RTE’s Nationwide will broadcast a programme on January 7, featuring some of the projects that took place in 2014.
Families will enjoy the Disney Frozen Sing-A-long event in Limerick School of Art and Design Gallery to mark the release of the sing-along edition of the world’s biggest animation of all time.
Three screenings will take place at 10am, 1pm and 4pm with Limerick children’s choir Cantettte singing along with the movie for one of the showings, and the other two showings performed by Limerick’s own animator extraordinaire Norma Lowney.
The free family-friendly Carnival Extravaganza will take place in the Milk Market from 12pm to 4pm and features circus, dance, street theatre and song with aerial dance company Fidget Feet, MCs Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin.
Also featuring are Drum Dance Ireland, God Knows and MynameisjOhn, Bazzy B and the Limerockers Crew and Scoil Uí Ruairc dance school.
Limerick Panto Society’s 30th annual production, Cinderella, starring Emma O’Driscoll, opens on Saturday, December 27, running until January 4. The UCH panto, Jack and the Beanstalk, runs until January 5.
On Christmas Day the annual Castleconnell swim takes place at 12pm at World’s End, in aid of Lisnagry Football Club, while a charity walk takes place at noon on Friday, December 26 in Cappamore, meeting at the forestry entrance at Crehane/Buffanoka on Kyle Road.