30 November 2021
By Mary Bermingham
Countywide Performances and Light Installations at the Centre of ‘A Real Cork Christmas’
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan is encouraging everyone to experience the magic of Christmas on their doorstep in the run-up to December 25th as part Cork County Council’s A Real Cork Christmas campaign.
Cork County Council has launched a series of initiatives, including live performances and light installations, designed to ensure people experience the real Christmas spirit and atmosphere while supporting County Cork businesses this festive season.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan says A Real Cork Christmas aims to bolster communities and businesses, “The sparkling Christmas lights are shining brightly across the county. We want to create a wonderful festive atmosphere in our towns and villages in the run-up to Christmas and highlight the unique businesses on our doorstep. A Real Cork Christmas is just that, it’s real not virtual. It is to be discovered by visiting our towns and villages, enjoying the lights, a hot chocolate and picking up some unique items that you can touch, feel and bring home with you.”
Adding to the Christmas atmosphere will be legendary singer-songwriters Mary Coughlan and Frankie Gavin for a Cork Co Co Pops Christmas Special. In total, audiences will have 81 live performances at 40 indoor and outdoor locations to choose from. Theatre makers Noni Stapleton, Seamus O’Rourke and Denis Conway will also join a host of Cork based professional artists performing across the county throughout December.
A theme throughout A Real Cork Christmas in 2021 is ‘Let There Be Light’. Stunning displays of Christmas Lights have been turned on in every town and village. Unique light installations can also be discovered in the windows of many of the Council’s local libraries, as transition year students from eight secondary schools work with artists to create a very special display that must be seen to be appreciated.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, says, “The Christmas Special of Cork Co Co Pops is a continuation of our very successful summer programme which saw visitors enjoy our towns and villages during the summer sunshine. Now, in the festivities of Christmas this atmosphere is being recreated. This initiative, funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, is part of a series of measures to revive and support the performing arts sector in Ireland. Christmas is a real family time, filled with music and entertainment, so it is great to have live performances to suit all tastes so close to home.”
Cork County Council is also creating a special video to promote the offering across the county this festive season. It focuses on the importance of Christmas to businesses and showcases a selection of local retailers, hoteliers and restaurants, some of whom have been in operation for generations. The video features an array of Christmas lights across the county, including new and improved illuminations in Mallow, festooned lighting in Cobh and festive trimmings in Fermoy. It also includes highlights from a very special visit by Santa Claus himself, enjoying a whistle-stop shopping trip to Cork County. The video will be released on the Council’s social platforms in the coming days.
Mayor Coughlan went on to say, “It has been another exceptionally challenging year which is why it is so important for everyone to get on board and support our local businesses and producers. There are so many unique gifts and the best quality ingredients to be had when you shop on your own doorstep. You really can enjoy a Christmas day out across the county with a complete Christmas experience to be discovered.”
The Library installations will be in place for the duration of the festive period. Transition year students have created light displays for their local library using various media, including paint, paper, fibre, LED displays and fairy lights. The schools involved are Midleton CBS; Carrignafoy Community College, Cobh; St Fanahan’s College, Mitchelstown; Coláiste Muire Crosshaven, Patrician Academy, Mallow; Colaiste Ghobnatan, Baile Mhic Íre; Mary Immaculata Community College, Dunmanway; and St Brogans College, Bandon.
Visit www.corkcoco.ie for the full Cork Co Co Pops Christmas Special programme.