PANTO stars Leanne Moore and Dustin the Turkey enlisted Limerick and the North Pole’s first citizens to switch on the city’s Christmas lights last Friday.
A large crowd - mostly made up of parents and children - attended the event on Thomas Street in the city to witness the lights being switched on, with Mayor Cllr Gerry McLoughlin, Leanne and Santa Claus pressing their hands to a glowing globe that powered up the city’s impressive Christmas display.
Limerick City Council have spent in the order of €100,000 in 2012 on the Christmas lights, creating new displays on William Street, Catherine Street and Thomas Street, with “3D displays” making their debut in the city and will be installed at the Debenhams, Bedford Row and Roches Street junctions.
Children craned on their parents’ shoulders to get a glimpse of Dustin, who roared - to the crowd’s approval - that Limerick “looked amazing, better than the North Pole”.
After complimenting Santa Claus on his dashing red suit, a colour matched by Cinderella star Leanne, who couldn’t hide her delight at being involved in the event in her home city, Dustin led the crowd in an adapted version of ‘Hey Baby’ - remodelled, “Hey Santa, I wanna know if its gonna snow”.
Speaking afterwards Leanne said it was a “huge honour” to turn on the lights, something she would “never forget”.
“Just being part of the event is still kind of unbelievable,” laughed Leanne. “I don’t class myself as one of the people that should be invited to turn on the lights at home in Limerick - I am still saying, wow, I got to do that, I honestly will never forget it.”
“Christmas is my favourite time of year and those who know me, know how important home is to me, I love the place, so it was just amazing to be involved,” she added.