ADARE is marrying the best of the old with the best of the new in a bid to make this Christmas the most eco-friendly ever in the village.
And when Santa and Mrs Claus arrive in style next Saturday evening to turn on the Christmas lights, they will find that tradition, this year in Adare, has been given a greener twist.
In Adare, of course, tradition dictates that a giant Christmas tree is placed at the top of the village outside the village hall. This is a seasonal favourite dating back over generations but this year, the tree will be lit by a new set of more eco-friendly light.
“A lot of work was done over the last five years to reduce costs using lower wattage bulbs,” Valerie Shine O’Kelly, secretary of the village hall committee explained this week. Despite this, however, running costs remained high as electricity charges increased.
“This year, however, we were able to purchase new LED lights due to the support by the community for our remembrance tree project and we are now in a position to significantly reduce the running costs.” Valerie continued, adding that the LED lights use up to 90% less energy.
But the Village Hall committee, having researched the idea of an artificial tree, has also decided to stay with the real tree as the greener option,. A fake tree, they concluded, was made of plastic and would end up in landfill after a few years. This year’s tree is a Norway Spruce standing 40-feet tall and comes from a Coillte managed sustainable forest in Co Kilkenny. The costs of transporting the giant tree were shared with four other Limerick institutions, in a bid to cut down on carbon foot-print and costs. And it will be recyled into mulch once it has done its job .
First however, comes the fun and it all kicks off at 8.15pm this Saturday when, in another long-standing Adare tradtion, Santa and Mrs Claus will arrive in a motorcade for the big switch on. This will be followed by a range of events in and around the hall including a supervised junior disco, an art exhibition, carol singing, music as well as mulled wine and mince pies.
This, Valerie explains, has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from Serendipity Shoe Boutique which has, apparently presented Mrs Claus with a wonderful new pair of shoes. “Santa, we think, has taken up private Zumba dancing lessons, so Adare is in for a real treat,” adds Valerie.
“This celebration party is our way of giving something back to the village and is designed to help enhance the local community spirit”, adds committee chairman.” It promises to be a great night and we are hoping the whole community will share in this wonderful event in the village”.
This year again, there will be a chance to light up in memory of a loved one. A light on the Remembrance Tree 2012 costs just €5. As part of this project, all sponsors will receive a keepsake card listing those remembered for 2012.
In addition, a C.D. of a new song , For You, by local man Stephen Buggy and his band will be launched. The CD is in aid of “Reach Out .com”, an information site for young people on cyber-bullying and other mental health issues. The site is run by the “Inspire Ireland Foundation” (a not-for-profit, non government registered charity).