Smaller Kingdom to stage return

by Gazette Reporter

AFTER much protesting, arguing and compromising, the Christmas Kingdom will go ahead in Malahide – albeit in a downsized and less centralised form.
After meeting local residents on November 12, and following discussions with councillors, Malahide Chamber of Commerce, Malahide Castle Management, the Christmas Kingdom event organisers and An Garda Siochana, a new format has been developed.
It will link the revised event in Malahide Green with enhanced activities in Malahide Castle and elsewhere in the town.
Christmas Kingdom director Andre Jenkinson said his team is overwhelmed with the amount of support received and are grateful to the people of Malahide. He said: “This event provides more than 100 seasonal jobs and we hope to bring a big boost to businesses in the area.”
Councillors Eoghan O’Brien (FF) and Anthony Lavin (FG) welcomed the outcome reached, saying it would have been a huge disappointment to many residents and business owners in the community.
Cllr Lavin said that while he was glad it hadn’t been abandoned altogether, he understood the concerns of residents who were not properly consulted about the event.
Steps will be taken to address issues raised by residents, including the relocation of the merry-go-rounds, carousels, chair-o-planes and other amusements from the green to Malahide Castle, and there will be unimpeded access to the green for locals.
As part of this festival, there will be a free shuttle service running between the green and castle, a traffic management plan, full-time litter crews servicing the event and 24-hour security to guard against anti-social behaviour.
Entrance to the public areas of the Christmas Kingdom is free, while the Santa Experience and ice rink are by ticket only, with tickets available now from €18 at www.ChristmasKingdom.ie.
Special features of the Christmas Kingdom include the Polar Express train and vintage carousels, a 2,200 sq ft ice rink, a Charles Dickens-themed street, Christmas markets, Rudolf and some real reindeer, elves, Santa and Mrs Claus, a Polar post office for sending Santa letters, a tunnel of lights and Christmas Tree Avenue.
The Christmas Kingdom is due to open every weekend from November 20, and every day from December 18 until 23.
Meanwhile, the annual St Andrew’s Parish Christmas Market will take place on Saturday, November 28 from 10.30am to 2.30pm in the parish centre on Church Road, Malahide.
There will be a raffle draw at 2pm, along with numerous stalls selling cakes, toys, mince pies, mulled wine, bric-a-brac and more.

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