A huge crowd came out onto the streets in Ardee on Friday night for the annual Christmas lights switch on ceremony – with hundreds of people lining up along Castle Street to get an up-close glimpse of a very special guest for the evening – yes, Santa Claus!
Locals of all ages came came out to Ardee for the switch-on which officially marks the start of the festive season in the town. Santa Claus, who took some time out from his very busy pre-Christmas schedule to visit, parked his reindeer and sleigh at the Fair Green and was given a lift up the town in Ardee Fire Service’s very own fire engine.
He, Mrs Claus, his elves and special helper Bubbles all took time to meet-and-greet the children and parents in the crowd – handing out sweets and goodies to all – before they finally got down to the business of switching on the lights on Ardee Castle.
MC Brian Farrelly was on hand to warm up the crowd and talk everyone through proceedings whilst having some craic giving away a whole host of Ardee Town vouchers and other goodies to people in the crowd. A few jolly souls even offered to sing some festive songs to pass the time as we waited for Santa.
At 6.30pm, Santa and his helpers made their entrance to Castle Street, with help from Ardee Fire Service and the man from the North Pole spent time talking to every child on the street – wishing them a Merry Christmas, all while his helpers, including the very popular Bubbles, gave out sweets and treats to all of the kids.
Santa and Bubbles did the honours and it looked brilliant, especially complimented by all of the brilliant shop window displays and new hanging lights as erected by Ardee Traders & Business Association. The duo led the crowd with a singalong of Jingle Bells before they departed to a big cheer from everyone who came out to enjoy the night.
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie, Ardee Traders & Business Association chairman John Little said, “It’s marvellous. It’s very impressive and I’m delighted to see so many people coming out. It’s a good reward for the hard work that the committee have been doing to get this organised.
“We appreciate everyone who’s come out tonight. We were very lucky tonight with the weather and a lot of people have worked hard. We’ve been trying very hard and people in the town and the surrounding areas are appreciating what we’re doing. We do find there are more people shopping in the town now and we’re really encouraging that,” he added.
“The Ardee Town Vouchers are available in Bartle Landy’s, Sharkeys and O’Neill’s Menswear and if anyone wants to purchase them in the run up to Christmas, they can do so.”