ONE of County Limerick’s most enduring Christmas attractions has been the Live Crib in Adare. And it will make its appearance again this year, on Sunday, a little bit earlier than usual.
“It is our sixteenth year. We began in 1996, and, to our great amazement, it is something that has never waned,” Anne Mordan, PRO for the organising group said this week.
“It really has become a tradition.”
Many of the same families return year after year, and now many of these families have young grandchildren, continuing the tradition into another generation. “It is really lovely to see young couples coming forward each year offering to take part or just coming to visit,” Ms Mordan continued.
The centre piece of the Living Crib each year is the new-born babe and parents and this year some 16 babies and families will be involved.
Each family will take their place in the living tableau for 15 minutes, timed precisely to prevent any new-born from getting chilled.
But, Ms Mordan was quick to add, the stable is quite cosy and warm and populated by sheep, a donkey and a cow.
The location is, as always, at the rear of the parish house, and adjacent to the Dunraven Arms Hotel. “It really does lend itself to a Living Crib,” Ms Mordan observed.
And there is plenty of room for the many choirs of carol-singers who will be taking part: the adult choirs, Holy Trinity Abbey Choir from Adare and St Joseph’s choir from Limerick, and the children’s choirs from the parish’s four national schools. Boys from Scoil Iosaef will also be drafted in as shepherds.
In addition, local pub-owners and restaurateurs make offerings of mulled wine and sandwiches. “They have kept that up for the last 16 years,” Ms Mordan pointed out.
There is no charge to visit the Live Crib but any donations made will be passed on to a selected disaster area around the world, where the emphasis will be on helping the affected children. The money is always channelled to a fund with a personal link to Adare and avoids any administrative costs.
“The main message we want to get across is that we will welcome any and all who come,” Ms Mordan stressed. The Live Crib will begin at 2pm this Sunday and will run until 5pm.