IF THE chill in the air and the change in the calendar hadn’t already made it obvious, the fact that Christmas is coming will be made plain in Newcastle West this weekend as the town’s inaugural ‘Winter Fest’ continues.
The festival continues until Sunday, December 9 and has seen the town transformed into a winter wonderland of music and entertainment, centring on an artisan Christmas market in the grounds of the 15th century Desmond castle.
‘Winter Fest’ will seek to round off a bumper year for Newcastle West, after the second annual ‘WestFest’ during the summer drew tens of thousands of people to the West Limerick town.
Liam Doab, a member of the Newcastle West Lions Club, said that the event aims to help build Christmas cheer, and also encourage people to shop local.
“The notion of staying local and shopping local for Christmas can only improve our community and hopefully Winter Fest will make it a pleasurable experience”.
The event formally kicked off this Monday, December 3 with a ‘Rainbow Collection’ of work by local artists at the Red Door gallery in The Square, and this Wednesday night, December 5 internationally-renowned pianist Therese Fahy entertained with her performance of ‘Preludes’ by Claude Debussy.
The festival kicks up a gear this Friday, December 7 with a unique ‘Christmas Fantasy’ lights display in The Square, which will see a festive, custom-animated video production architecturally mapped on to the façade of the Red Door gallery.
On Saturday, December 8 the festival moves to the grounds of the 15th century Desmond banquet hall for a Christmas market, with craft, 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 gallery, a visit 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.