By Daniel Brennan
This year, Galway city’s traditional Continental Christmas Market has been added to, with brand new lights and projections being displayed across the city, as well the addition of a brand new event for opening night, the ‘Light Up Galway’ parade.
The ‘Light Up Galway’ event was held alongside the Christmas market’s opening last Friday the 16 of November. It started at 6pm at Raven Terrace, moved along to the corner of Cross Street and Quay Street, where it stopped for 20 minutes, before moving down Shop Street and stopping for another 20 minutes outside Hartmann’s on William Street to give everyone a chance to see the action. The parade ended in Eyre Square for its finale.
The parade was fronted by several special cartoon characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as well as Mr and Mrs Claus and The Santa Express Train – which carries Santa through the city annually as part of the opening.
New light installations and projections have also been displayed across the city – at a cost of €80,000.
A total of €150,000 was granted by Galway City Council for the festivities after a unanimous vote of approval from councilors who wished to allocate the money in order to fund the new attractions.
Cormac McGuckian, Chairperson of the Galway City Business Association, one of the groups that successfully lobbied for the extra council funding, spoke to SIN this week.
“We are delighted that Galway City Council and Councilors have supported the business groups in the Light Up Galway campaign.”
“The 2018 event and decorations promise to be magical, and what better way to showcase our fantastic city.”
As for the market itself, the German “Bierkeller” beer tent in Eyre Square has returned, alongside the “Artisan Food and Craft Showcase” which displays local handcrafted goods as well as products from European traders.
The market, now in its ninth year, features over 50 different wooden chalets which host the vendors as well as the beer tent, Santa’s Grotto, a 32 metre high ferris wheel, a carousel and numerous theatrical events – such as carol singing, puppet shows and community choirs.
Food lovers can enjoy everything from bratwurst, French pastries, pretzels, donuts, crêpes and apple cider at the market – and of course there is also plenty of hot chocolate and mulled wine on offer.
The market will run from 16 November until the 22 December, 7 days a week.
It will be open Monday to Wednesday from midday until 8pm, and from Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 10pm.