DESPITE a small amount of criticism about congestion aired on social network pages, the Naas Christmas programme got underway on Saturday last with a Festival of Light.
There was a strong musical theme to opening with Brian Kennedy performing his new single “Christmas Morning” live outside the Town Hall.
A traditional Tree lighting ceremony and a Festival of Light with vibrant themed parades from local schools were among the highlights of the opening and Mayor Willie Callaghan turned on the Christmas lights, which cover the entire town.
Hundreds of people had converged outside the Town Hall and traffic was partially diverted as Santa Claus appeared as he normally does in Naas – aboard a fire engine form the local station.
A child from each school symbolically handed Cllr. Callaghan a lantern to light the big Christmas tree and illuminate the town.
The parades were led by costumed characters from the Moat Theatre followed by a sea handmade lanterns carried by children from each of the local communities.
The Moat Theatre Singers also performed at the Town Hall as the children arrive.
Festive markets have again been launched and will be open on Saturdays while local traders created window displays.
The event is a join initiative between the town centre business community and Naas Town Council to encourage people to shop in the town centre.
Cllr. Callaghan said: “Naas will sparkle this year and I want to thank Brian Kennedy for taking time out of his hectic schedule to perform for us and I also wish to thank all the schools, singers, local groups and businesses for the effort they have made to make this event so special”
There will be a live crib in the grounds of the Church of Our Lady and St David on the Sallins Road on December 22-23, live music on the streets every weekend with a guest performance from Boy band Level 5 on December 15. There is free parking every Saturday and Sunday in Town Council car parks from November until December 31.
Shops will open later and there will a draw with E5,000 worth of prizes to be won and exclusive in-store promotions taking place in the shops with colourful window displays and festive cheer. The Moat Club Christmas pantomime - Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs - will run in their theatre from Thursday December 6 to Saturday December 15.