Wexford to be transformed into a wonderland once more
Members of Wexford Borough Council were in the festive mood at last week's meeting as they discussed the plans for this year's Wexford Winterland Festival.
District Manager Angie Laffan outlined some of the new features that will be on offer, including a full-sized Christmas train that will run along the public road. She said that the route that it will take is yet to be finalised.
The annual turning on of the Christmas lights is set to continue but this year, but the tree will be situated on the Quayfront instead of the Bullring.
Ms Laffan said: 'It is a much safer environment than the Bullring and we can cater for greater numbers.'
This year, the lights are to be switched on by a national celebrity, but the verdict is out as to who this will be.
The popular outdoor cinema will also make a return, with a new location for this year's festival. Ms Laffan explained that the movies will be moved from Selskar to the Bullring, saying that they considered it to be a more 'comfortable environment'. Cllr Davy Hynes argued that it was too cold in the Bullring to sit and watch movies and suggested that they be moved indoors. However, Mr Laffan said that the movies are aimed at children and that children 'don't mind the cold'.
After much discussion, the council have decided not to go ahead with staging a Santa's Grotto, opting instead to work with the one located in the Irish National Heritage Park.
All of the old favourite features are to make a comeback at this year's festival, including the Bullring Market, the ice rink, the parade and plenty of live music. Once again, there will be free parking on Tuesday's during the Christmas period and each day from December 19 until Christmas Eve. Ms Laffan said that they are still waiting to hear from the retail group whether they wish to have late night shopping.
'I don't know if it worked last year.'
Cllr Frank Staples asked whether there was an increase in revenue as a result of prior Christmas events. Director of Services Tony Larkin said that there was a very significant increase in retail spending felt in the town.
'We outperformed some other towns that didn't put in the effort.'