MORE people turned out for this year’s Frostival Winter Festival in Dundalk than for former US President Bill Clinton’s visit to the town, according to Dundalk Town Centre Manager Martin McElligott.
Exact numbers are still not known but the streets of Dundalk were thronged with thousands of people when the popular two-day event kicked off on Friday, November 18.
“We are still digesting it. It was fantastic. We were expecting around 5,000 people to attend but the numbers far exceeded that amount,” said Martin.
“It was a great surprise. I think it was the perfect storm after Covid-19 and Christmas is the biggest time of year and the weather itself helped too.
“Most of the markets were sold out on the first night and couldn’t re-stock for the following day. It was an incredible festival.”
Dundalk BIDS organised Frostival in partnership with Dundalk Credit Union. They were supported by Louth County Council. The highlight of the festival, the Carnival of Light Parade, signalled the beginning of the Christmas season. Starting at 7pm, this year’s Frostival Parade route weaved its way from Church Street to Park Street on a magical journey illuminating the town centre.
The procession was a winter fairy tale come to life with the Nutcracker prince spinning fire, a flying fairground horse, troupe of Dancing Christmas Stars, the Sugar plum fairy, giant snowflakes, huge golden baubles light up the street, Rudolph prances and dances, a Snowman cycles in a sparkling snowstorm and Santa is high above the crowd on his magic bicycle.
“Well done to our commercial sponsor Dundalk Credit Union. They have a great team themselves and Louth County Council also,” said Martin.
“We were very proud of local boxer Amy Broadhurst. It was a magical moment seeing her put the star on top of the Christmas tree.
“Our aim is always bigger and better. We have a good family-friendly event that people have fallen in love with.”