‘Winterfest’ to turn town square in festive wonderland

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

The Winter Wonderland Ballerinas performing at the Winterfest in Newcastle West in 2012    Picture by Dave Gaynor
AFTER a spectacular debut last year, Newcastle West’s Winterfest event is getting ready to return bigger and brighter than ever.

AFTER a spectacular debut last year, Newcastle West’s Winterfest event is getting ready to return bigger and brighter than ever.

Beginning next Friday, December 6, Winterfest is set to delight the senses in the run up to Christmas 2013, with a combination of music, food and festive fun.

Vicki Nash, a member of the Winterfest organising committee, said that the event will offer “something for everyone”, and will encourage people to shop and spend in the county town.

“Our goal has been to deliver a programme that will encourage people to stay local, spend local and enjoy local, as well as entice visitors from further afield.”

The festival begins next Friday with the traditional switching on of Newcastle West’s Christmas tree in the town square, along with a unique ‘interactive session’ on a 14ft communal drum. That evening will also see the formal unveiling of an art exhibition titled ‘Encounters’ at the Red Door gallery in The Square, which is made up of pieces from the joint State collections of the Office of Public Works and the Northern Ireland department of finance.

The following morning, December 7 will see a Christmas food and craft fair take place at the Red Door and in front of the Desmond castle and banquet hall in The Square. The fair will also see birds of prey, music and an appearance by Santa Claus himself in a special grotto at Harrold’s Court, hosted by the Newcastle West and District Lions Club. For advance bookings, call 069 78847.

On Sunday, December 8 there will be street food, a mini Christmas market, carol singing and a live crib. On Thursday December 12, meanwhile, the Lions Club will host its annual Christmas recital at the local church, which will this year feature performances by tenor Brian Hartnett, violinist Anne Phelan and the Desmond College choir. On Saturday December 14 there will be a dance recital and performance by the Belfast chime and hand bell choir in the Desmond banquet hall, while on Sunday December 15 there will once again be carol singing and a live crib, followed by an afternoon of storytelling hosted by writer Roisin Meaney.

For more information visit the event’s dedicated Facebook page.