Newcastle West gets set to host first ever ‘Winter Fest’

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

WITH the stunning success of WestFest still fresh in the memory, Newcastle West is gearing up to host a unique Christmas celebration which will once again be centred on the spectacular Desmond Castle.

WITH the stunning success of WestFest still fresh in the memory, Newcastle West is gearing up to host a unique Christmas celebration which will once again be centred on the spectacular Desmond Castle.

From December 5 to 9 the county town will host the first ever Winter Fest, a festive-themed event which will combine Christmas markets, live music and a visit from Santa Claus himself.

The event, as well as stoking the early festive embers, will be another opportunity for Newcastle West to show itself off as a vibrant destination.

Noreen Gallagher, a member of the Winter Fest organising committee which earlier this year held the inaugural ‘Taste of WestFest’ food fair, said that next month’s event will have something for everyone.

“We’ve the stalls and the line up pretty much sorted now. It’ll be the first of its kind in this part of the world for a good while. We’re hoping it’ll go down well”.

Winter Fest will begin on Wednesday, December 5 with a recital by internationally-renowned Dublin pianist Therese Fahy at the Red Door gallery in the square, with tickets available at the door for €10. Ms Fahy will be performing ‘Preludes’ by Claude Debussy to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

On Friday, December 7 a unique “visual spectacle” will be held in the square in the form of a ‘Christmas Fantasy’ lights display. The custom animated video production has been architecturally mapped on to the façade of the old building, and will display a number of festive-themed images.

Ms Gallagher said that the display will be “a truly unique event which will be a new experience for the vast majority of people in the area”.

On Saturday, December 8 the festival moves to the grounds of the 15th century Desmond banquet hall for a Christmas market, with crafts, food and art producers displaying their wares to the public amid performances from carol singers and falconry.

Also on Saturday Santa Claus will make his annual stop over to meet with local children in a makeshift grotto at the Red Door, which has been organised by the Newcastle West and District Lions Club. The weekend will come to a close on Sunday, December 9 with pop up restaurants and a small gift market at the Red Door, with children’s entertainment taking place throughout the day.

For more information, check out Winter Fest’s dedicated Facebook page.