New festival to celebrate Christmas in Kilkenny

Plans are afoot to turn Christmas in Kilkenny into an experience for families to share and treasure forever.

Plans are afoot to turn Christmas in Kilkenny into an experience for families to share and treasure forever.

Kilkenny Borough Council has tasked the Kilkenny City Centre Business Association with creating and executing a Christmas campaign for Kilkenny this season. The business group has plans for a multi-stakeholder campaign to create ‘community-based future memories’ to bring about a new emotional connection to Kilkenny at Christmas.

‘A Very Kilkenny Christmas’ is the name created for the campaign by Midas PR, which has been appointed to build the PR campaign.

“People don’t want products; they want experiences,” says Alma Feeley, managing director of Midas PR.

“The concept for A Very Kilkenny Christmas is to create a reason for families to come into the city and enjoy together what will become their future Christmas memories; memories that are community-based and essentially Kilkenny at their core. A Very Kilkenny Christmas is all about creating an emotional connection to Kilkenny at Christmas time.”

The Christmas market that has been a feature of the Parade will be replaced with a festive programme that includes, amongst others, the transformation of the Kilkenny tourist train into a Christmas train that will circuit the town with stops at the Parade, High Street and MacDonagh Junction. There will be an entertainment programme of choirs and orchestras for the Parade and Tholsel, a family-based turning on of all the Christmas lights in Kilkenny on Sunday, November 24, and a calendar of charity and community-based events.

“Christmas events in Kilkenny in the past were disparate,” says Gary Graham, chairperson for A Very Kilkenny Christmas.

“This year is all about joined-up thinking with all the different entities – the various trader groups, MacDonagh Junction, Market Cross Shopping Centre, Kilkenny Castle, Rothe House etc all working together and marketing Christmas activities under the umbrella brand of A Very Kilkenny Christmas.”

A full programme will be announced shortly.