ALTHOUGH there are more than ten weeks until Christmas, Limerick City Council is already gearing up for the festive season.
This week, the first sets of Christmas decorations went up in the city centre - a week earlier than normal in anticipation of inclement weather.
Patrick Street and Lower O’Connell Street were the first areas to see Christmas decorations, followed by William Street which will see bright new LED lights installed.
But the official switch-on is not until Friday, November 16.
In the last year, the City Council’s engineering department has upgraded the wires in which the lights hang on across the street, with the stock now worth around €500,000.
A spokesperson for the City Council said that due to traffic management, the installation of lights can only take place on a Sunday. It normally takes six Sundays to put them all up, they added.
“The catenary wires which the lights hang on across the streets, are being upgraded, repairs need to take place and there are new bright LED lights being installed on William Street. All the features on William Street have been re-wired. Due to traffic management, the installation of lights can only take place on a Sunday,” the spokesperson said, “Starting a bit earlier this year also allows for weather issues - we had a very bad run of weather in November last year if you remember.”
The identity of the person switching on the Christmas lights this year remains a mystery though, and will not be revealed until after the Halloween celebrations.
Patrick Street businessman Tony Connolly, Connolly Menswear, said most people would not be aware the lights had yet gone up: “You cannot easily see them unless they are lit. It would be too early to switch them on now. Late November or early December would be plenty of time in my opinion,” he said.