Vicky Phelan on stage with members of her family and Mayor James Collins at the Light Up Limerick event | Picture: Sean Curtin
MORE than 20,000 people from across the region helped kicked off the festive season this evening as Vicky Phelan turned on the city’s Christmas lights.
From early afternoon, families dressed in Christmas hats and jumpers flocked to the city centre in the hope of gaining a good vantage point for the Light Up Limerick event which was the biggest to date.
Characters from the hit Disney movie, Frozen entertained the crowds who gave a huge welcome to Santa Claus following his arrival.
The stage for the event was located at O’Connell Street near its junction with Mallow Street with a number of big screens relaying the celebrations to the massive crowds.
Before the switching on ceremony at 6pm, there were performances from the Corpus Christi school choir, the Limerick Gospel Choir as well cast members from both of Limerick’s Christmas pantos.
There was was huge cheer when Vicky Phelan took to the stage with members of her family and professed that she considers herself to be a Limerick woman as she has lived in the city for so long.
She revealed she is looking forward to a quiet family Christmas at home this year.
“For me, the biggest reason why I am so exited is I didn’t think I would be here at the start of the year so that what’s makes it all the more special. To be able to come in here and walk around without any pain is great because last Christmas I wasn’t really well at all so I am revealing in really,” she said.
What a fantastic evening. Thank You @XmasLimerick @Limerick_ie @LauraMR @limerickcitybiz @jamesjcollins for asking me to be part of this wonderful event. we try lit up Limerick this evening #LightUpLimerick https://t.co/w0apF0lQHS— Vicky Phelan (@PhelanVicky) November 18, 2018
Special snow machines and fireworks added to the atmosphere as Christmas songs blared across the city centre as darkness fell.
Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr James Collins, says the Light Up Limerick event is now one of the highlights of the year.
“People want to come out, they want events to be put on and there has been great entertainment here today. You close down the main street, you use it in a different way and you have fun,” he said.
At one point this Sunday evening, #LightUpLimerick was trending on Twitter across Ireland.