COUNTDOWN TO FERMOY'S 200K CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND
The clock is ticking and locals are counting down the days to the much- anticipated and biggest festival that Fermoy has ever seen with €200k being spent to ensure its success.
Valerie Murphy, CEO of Avondhu Blackwater Partnership, spoke about how plans for the big event, which runs from Friday, December 17 to Sunday, December 19, are progressing at last Monday’s press launch: “We are very excited about this project. The success of the ‘Celebrity Bainisteoir’ on RTE was ‘the spark that lit the flame’. We thought what an ideal opportunity for a festival which will place Fermoy in the centre of North Cork activity.”
LIKE OLD DAYS
Valerie added that they have co-ordinated the rural transport programme so senior citizens will be brought to Fermoy and dropped back home.
“This is very important as it will allow people to interact with neighbours. If people want to book a place on the bus, all they need to do is contact The Avondhu Blackwater Partnership on 025-33411. It will be a bit like the old days, when people go to town and meet for a chat, and buy an outfit for Christmas.”
Valerie added that to date she is ‘blown away’ with the response from people that want to volunteer over the three day event. Dave Valentine, chairman of the Fermoy Business Action Group, spoke about how the event will help the businesses in Fermoy.
“We have a series of TV ads that will broadcast from Friday, December 10 to Thursday, December 16 on RTE One so we are hoping to attract people from throughout the country to Fermoy. We want to encourage people from outside Fermoy to come into the town as opposed to stopping local people from leaving the town. We hope this will drive the Christmas business in Fermoy.”
Dave added that he has never seen the level of co-operation with individual businesses coming together as one.
“There is a very positive feeling about this amongst everyone which is great to see and, given the people that are involved the sky is the limit. By marketing Fermoy in the promotional week, from Sunday, December 12 to the 19 whereby businesses will be offering various reductions, discounts and special offers in their shops we hope that will encourage people to shop local and deal with local people.”
UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT
“We all know each other, we are served by someone we know with a smile and a welcome as opposed to going somewhere else where we are anonymous. We want to see sales all through next year benefiting because people saw what Fermoy had to offer this December. So this really is putting the town under the spotlight.”
Cllr Noel McCarthy commented, “I have no doubt that the event will be a thorough success. It’s the most exciting thing to hit Fermoy. There is great enthusiasm being reflected from all the business people in Fermoy, and the people are showing true spirit in wanting to be involved.”
With €33k being spent on TV advertising, it is anticipated that the event will draw crowds in excess of 15,000 from all over the country. Peter Kelly (aka Franc) who appears on the TV ad is delighted to be involved in the exciting project.
“People are in for a fantastic three days. We will have Europe’s largest bouncing snowman. There will be a 90ft toboggan slide, an outside skating rink that can take 32 people at any one time. There will also be a covered walkway connecting the two paths and a mini village of wooden sheds along the pathways.
"It will resemble a traditional market just like you would see in Germany, for example. There will be characters walking around dressed up, a place where kids can post their letters to Santa, numerous stalls from local traders and carol singing by Fermoy Choral Society.”
Peter added that he would encourage people to bring a camera, as there will be plenty of opportunities to take lovely family snaps in a fantastic Christmas wonderland.
“It will be like a scene from a Christmas market in Basel, Switzerland. Its all about a making it a family experience, one to remember forever in true Franc style.” Damien Tobin, Avondhu Blackwater Partnership spoke about the free park ‘n’ ride service that will be provided.
“There will be free parking on every side of the town with over 1,500 available spaces. Free buses will run every 10 to 15 minutes from Moorepark. The old mart, Corrin Mart, Queen of Peace Church and the Blackwater campsite on the Mallow Road. Santa’s Grotto will be located at MacCurtain Street from this Friday, December 10 and each kid that visits will be given a golden ticket.
"A couple of these tickets will be drawn and the lucky winners will help launch what promises to be a spectacular event. Peter Kelly will kick things off with a cheese and wine reception this Thursday evening, December 9 in the Ulster Bank, Fermoy at 6pm.
Thursday 9th December 6:40pm