September 6: Giant weekend destined to be unforgettable

This weekend’s spectacular Giant’s Journey - the flagship event of Limerick’s year as National City of Culture 2014 – is estimated to be worth many millions to the local economy, but the biggest benefit is not monetary. No, all going well, the visit of the Royal de Luxe Grandmother will achieve considerably more than extra bed nights for hotels and other economic spin-offs – for starters, it will help to project a new, improved picture of a more confident Limerick onto the national stage.

This weekend’s spectacular Giant’s Journey - the flagship event of Limerick’s year as National City of Culture 2014 – is estimated to be worth many millions to the local economy, but the biggest benefit is not monetary. No, all going well, the visit of the Royal de Luxe Grandmother will achieve considerably more than extra bed nights for hotels and other economic spin-offs – for starters, it will help to project a new, improved picture of a more confident Limerick onto the national stage.

Until Friday, those of us who have yet to witness the magic of the Royal de Luxe experience can only imagine what awaits us but our expectation is that sheer joy of the occasion will create memories strong enough to last a lifetime, particularly among the young.

Eight months in, Limerick’s year as City of Culture has really flown. From rocky beginnings, it has grown in confidence and local goodwill has helped to bolster a budget that was comparatively modest given the scale of the ambition for the project. While so many excellent events have already taken place, it always needed a stand-out occasion capable of bringing every family in the city and county out onto the streets - and draw visitors from further afield. The Giant’s Journey, assuredly, is the perfect attraction.

As our special preview supplement this week makes clear, an extraordinary level of planning has gone into making this weekend special. Everything is in place to make this the highlight of Limerick’s year. We can be confident that the brilliance of the Royal de Luxe team will be evident throughout every minute of the journey and so all that’s left to make it unforgettable is the sight of the streets being packed with smiling people. We sincerely hope that all the hard work will be rewarded with a superb turnout and we’re confident it will be so. We look forward to bringing our readers some iconic photographs next week of the remarkable Grandmother passing different landmarks on her epic journey, waved along her way by the people of Limerick and our many visitors this special weekend.

So many different local organisations have come together in a harmonious and dedicated way to ensure the success of the event - compelling evidence of what can be achieved when Limerick pulls in the one direction.