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Support local business in cork city this christmas

Thursday, 22nd November, 2012 9:12am

The countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun and with just five weeks to go until the big day it's worth thinking about how you will plan the big day, get your shopping lists written up and hitting the city centre. When it comes to Christmas shopping it's always good to support local businesses which in turn helps create jobs in the local economy.

Cork City has truly embraced the Christmas spirit and with the Christmas lights just switched on last Friday on Patrick Street and North Main Street there is certainly a Christmas atmosphere already taking over the city. Retailers across the city are also putting up their window displays and decorating their premises for the festive season and are hoping for a busy season despite the current recession.

Joanne O' Riordan, the inspirational Millstreet teenager was the guest of honour at the launch of the Christmas lights and she was joined by the Lord Mayor Cllr John Buttimer and even Santa Claus himself made an appearance as did characters from the Christmas pantomimes that will take place in both The Everyman Theatre and Cork Opera House. The Lord Mayor welcomed the switching on off the lights and said  this symbolic event was the beginning of the Christmas season in Cork.

Parking

Cork City Council are also playing their part in enticing people to come and shop in the city centre and they are currently providing incentivised parking in city centre parks as part of a drive to boost city centre trade in the run up to Christmas. As part of this incentive there is free car parking in both Paul Street and North Main Street car parks from 10am to 12pm every Monday and Thursday and Paul Street car park will also be free on Thursday and Friday nights from 6.30pm to midnight to encourage late night shoppers. As well as these city centre incentives, the Park and Ride on the Kinsale Road is also operating on a free basis in the run up to Christmas. It's all about increasing footfall and making Cork City a key shopping destination and helping local businesses and the local economy.  

A Cork Christmas Celebration

'A Cork Christmas Celebration' presented by Cork City Council also returns to the city centre this year and will take over both the Grand Parade and Bishop Lucey Park from 30 November to 23 December. This magical celebration of all things Christmas draws thousands of families to the city centre each year and both the Christmas market' and the Christmas lights promise to be spectacular. This year the Christmas market on the Grand Parade will be bigger than ever and will feature a full size Vintage Carousel and Helter Skelter, a Gluhwein Bar and the return of an outdoor stage and the market will feature the best of local artisan food and crafts producers. If you fancy taking a break from your shopping you can check out the Christmas lights at Bishop Lucey Park where the whole area will be magically transformed into a winter wonderland inspired by the Christmas story, 'The Nutcracker.'  The park will be illuminated in lights of red, gold and blue and you can even get to post your letter to Santa at the park or visit the Sugarplum fairy's home.

Shopping in the city centre

This picture of winter wonderland is a huge attraction for shoppers and with available free parking options it's never been a better time to come into the city centre and help support local businesses. Whether it's shopping for food in the English Market or strolling down Oliver Plunkett Street or visiting Merchants Quay, it's vital to shop locally and the Cork Business Association are calling on the people of Cork to keep the city centre alive.  

If you're looking for precious Christmas gifts for a loved one then a visit to Alfa Silver Jewellery on Oliver Plunkett Street is a must and you can check out their high end sterling silver bracelets. earrings, pendants and cufflinks and they cater for both men and women. They are currently offering 50 per cent of all marked prices at the moment.

Shopping can of course take its toll on you at this busy period so why not take a break for a spot of lunch at Fenn's Quay restaurant or book in for an evening dinner. Christmas is also about entertainment and Cork Opera House will be presenting their annual pantomime, 'Alice in Wonderland' from 10 December and this stunning production promises to be a magical roller coaster ride and suitable for all the family. And it wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Santa Claus. Merchants Quay Shopping Centre has a brand new Santa's Grotto this year and Santa will be arriving to the shopping centre on Friday 23 November at 6pm along with several pantomime characters.

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