Thousands came out in Cork last night, (Friday, 27th November) to line the Grand Parade which was under water less than a week earlier. Crowds came to see the Christmas lights being switched on as part of ‘A Christmas Celebration on the Grand Parade, presented by Cork City Council in association with Bord Gàis Energy’.
Speaking at the event, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Dara Murphy said: “Cork has come together over the past week and today lights up for Christmas, showing our true rebel spirit in a time of adversity. We expect to welcome in excess of 80,000 people to this event over the 12 days of the event, giving the city a vital boost over the festive period.”
Over 50 stalls featuring food and crafts from local artisan food producers will line the Grand Parade from Friday until Sunday on each weekend leading up to Christmas at the biggest outdoor market the city has ever seen. The famous English Market opens its doors on the Sunday, when it is ordinarily closed, in support of the event.
Crowds were in front of Bishop Lucey Park at 5pm on the Friday to witness the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Dara Murphy and John Mullins, Chief Executive, Bord Gàis, push the Big Switch with 9 year-old Deanna Browne from Midleton to light up Cork’s Christmas lights. The park has been transformed into an ‘Enchanted Forest’ which includes boxes for Santa’s letters, walkabout characters, Christmas decorations and a huge carousel. The Barrack Street Band and the Club Men from the Cork Academy of Music filled the air with music last night.
Bord Gàis CEO John Mullins said: “Cork businesses, like others around the country, have had an incredibly tough time this year, compounded by the devastating weather of the past few weeks. Tonight’s Big Switch On shows the resilience on display and tells everyone the City is quite clearly open for business. We at Bord Gàis believe everybody should now row in and support those businesses. We have an opportunity to make it a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons”.
‘A Christmas Celebration on the Grand Parade, presented by Cork City Council in association with Bord Gàis Energy’ runs from Friday 27th of November each weekend up until Sunday 20th December. The Christmas Market and the ‘Enchanted Forest’ run each weekend with musical entertainment being announced weekly.