Carlow Town Hall was the location for the first in a series of Lightfest Events for 2023 co-ordinated by Carlow County Council and partners.  The event was a resounding success, bringing together families and friends for an unforgettable experience with over 3,500 people attending the event.

The festivities kicked off at 4:00 pm when the gates swung open, welcoming attendees to a world of entertainment and enchantment. Food vendors tantalized taste buds with a diverse array of culinary delights, and face painting stations added a colourful touch to the crowd.

At 4:30 pm, the stage came alive with a combination of Monroe and Dave O’Neill. Both acts known for their soulful performances and dynamic stage presence, serenaded the audience with a festive repertoire that captured the true spirit of Christmas. From holiday classics to classic covers, Monroe’s musical journey promises to evoke emotions and spread joy throughout the venue.

As the evening progressed, anticipation reached its peak at 6:00 pm when Mayor Cllr. Tom O’Neill and Santa joined forces to illuminate Carlow Town with a breath-taking display of lights and fireworks. The crowd was spellbound when the night sky erupted in a dazzling showcase of fireworks, marking the official start of the festive family experience.  Mayor Cllr. Tom O’Neill was joined on stage by Cllr. Andrea Dalton , Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council ,  ,Carlow County Council , Chief Executive,  Coilín O’Reilly and Deputy Jennifer Murnane O’Connor TD and Santa.

Speaking about the event , Cllr Tom O’Neill , Mayor of Carlow Municipal District said “We are thrilled with the overwhelming response from the community about this event”. The Mayor continued to say “Lightfest was not just an event; it was a celebration of unity, joy, and the spirit of the season. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who attended and contributed to making this event a tremendous success.” The Mayor complimented the various Departments in the Council who worked on the event and in particular highlighted the work of the Area Office in the festive light programme in the County Town with new investment in projectors and a fantastic new tree in the Town Hall Plaza”

Speaking about the importance of Carlow County Council supporting communities during the festive period , Cllr. Andrea Dalton , Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council said “ I believe that the festive period holds a special significance for communities, transcending political and cultural boundaries. In this season of joy and goodwill, we are reminded of the values that bind us together—compassion, generosity, and the spirit of giving. The festive period fosters a sense of unity, bringing people from all walks of life to celebrate shared traditions and create lasting memories. It is a time when communities come alive with a collective warmth that transcends differences, fostering a sense of belonging and reinforcing the ties that make our communities strong.”

Lightfest as part of County Carlow – A Festive Family Experience is co-ordinated by Carlow County Council and Kieran Comerford , Head of Economic Development & Enterprise said “we would like to thank everybody who played a part in this event and is working with us to run the Lightfest Programme for 2023 , including the ShopLocalShopCarlow Campaign. Lightfest is a partnership between Carlow County Council and various partners across the County.”

For those who missed Lightfest , Lightfest Tullow in association with St. Patricks GAA takes place on Saturday 9th December 2023 and tickets are currently available on Eventbrite with Lightfest Bagenalstown hosted by BIG with support from Carlow County Council takes place on 10th December 2023.  Tickets for Tullow are currently available on Eventbrite and Bagenalstown will be available shortly.