LIMERICK is the place to be over Christmas with something to do for all the family.
The city centre and county will be a hive of activity and fun over the holidays culminating with a New Year’s Eve extravaganza.
Sport is also a major draw for people in Limerick and two of the biggest sporting events in the country take place in Limerick over the Christmas period.
St Stephen’s Day sees the start of the four-day Limerick Christmas Racing Festival in Patrickswell with fantastic racing action each day from 12.20pm.
Meanwhile, on the hallowed turf of Thomond Park, Munster, fresh from their double win over the Leicester Tigers, take on their oldest foe, Leinster, in the Guinness Pro 14 series on St Stephen’s Day with kick-off at 3.15pm.
Visitors to Limerick will be able to avail of free car parking provided by Limerick City and County Council.
More than 200 free spaces are available in the Cleeve’s Factory site, just minutes from the city centre on O’Callaghan Strand.
Parking is available from 9am to 9pm each day and will stay open until midnight on New Year’s Eve to allow people enjoy the New Year’s Eve extravaganza.
Christmas is also synonymous with pantos and Limerick has two to delight and entertain even the oldest of children.
Limerick Panto Society is staging Aladdin in the Lime Tree Theatre, while the Spar Panto in University Concert Hall is Cinderella.
For those with boundless energy, Limerick On Ice is open in Arthur’s Quay Park until January 7, 2018.
In the county, the annual Boher Christmas 10K Fun Run/Walk will take place on St Stephen's Day from Boher Community Centre at 1pm.
This year proceeds are being donated to the Limerick branch of the Irish Kidney Association (IKA).
The annual Christmas Walk along the Great Southern Trail Greenway will take place on Wednesday, December 27 at 12.30pm. Assembly is at the newly opened Longcourt House Hotel, St Mary’s Road, Newcastle West.
A special Christmas park run will take place at 9.30 on Christmas morning, starting beside the UL boathouse.
Register for the free, timed 5k event at parkrun.ie.
On St Stephen's Day volunteers are required to go on the wren with Fr John Mockler. Fr John is trying to raise funds to take 25 pupils to Medjugorje next July. A mini bus will be stationed at the Longcourt Hotel, Newcastle West, at 11am and the group will then head off for a few hours. All singers, dancers, musicians and storytellers are welcome. For more information contact Benny Thade McCarthy on 0879918546.
Finally, back in the city, the skies will be transformed into an explosion of colour during the spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks beginning at 9pm.
The best viewing points are at Clancy’s Strand and Sarsfield Bridge.