herald

Monday 5 December 2016

It's the light light show as big switch-on breaks world record

Siuna Bartels and children Hannah, Molly and Jessie with Esther Bartels and daughter Edith
Siuna Bartels and children Hannah, Molly and Jessie with Esther Bartels and daughter Edith

Christmas jumpers, Santa hats and fairy lights were the name of the game as thousands of Dubliners descended on O'Connell Street for the switching on of the Christmas tree lights.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr turned on the lights at 6pm.

Comedian Al Porter and Dustin the Turkey were the hosts for the evening, with the bash kicking off with a performance by the Halleluia Gospel Choir, who sang a number of festive favourites.

Al brought along some cast members from his panto The Ugly Sisters & Yer Wan for a musical performance.

There was an appearance by up-and-coming Irish band The Academic to warm fans up before the big event.

Around 4,000 people turned out for the event and more than 1,500 people also wore their Christmas jumpers, breaking a world record.

Better

Tallaght woman Cora Higgins (59) is a regular at the switch-on and brought her daughter Emma and grandchildren Carla (9) and Charlie (10).

"We come every year. It's a lot better this year, there's a lot more space and it's better organised," she told the Herald.

"It's much different these days compared to when I was younger. You'd have the lights in the city but nothing like this. It's really for the children."

Sandyford resident Ailish Faulkner (50) arrived with pals Nick Griffin and Gerry Lister, who both went for a Santa Claus-inspired look.

"The lads are extras on Vikings and they have the big beards so they decided to come in with the Santa hats for a bit of fun," Ailish said.

Meanwhile, the LauraLynn Hospice also switched on their tree lights, with the help of RTE's Jennifer Zamparelli.

"It makes you really think about your life and how lucky you are," Jennifer said.

"The hardships some of these families have gone and are going through are devastating. If you can show your support it's the time to do it," she added.

"This event especially is kicking off the festivities but it's a reflection and really a celebration of life today. We're creating memories and a joyous time for the kids here and everybody involved. It's an enjoyable day, everyone's so festive."

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