We just love Christmas in Westport. Fringed by snow-capped mountains, the colourful, picturesque town is a gorgeous traditional festive setting for spreading seasonal cheer. Sure it’s just like a Christmas-card scene! Whether you’re visiting the town to do your Christmas shopping, or you’re staying with us for the whole holiday season, you won’t be short of seasonal things to do to get you and yours in the festive mood. Here’s a flavour of what’s on this year.
1. Catch a show
What could get you more in the mood for Christmas than a good Christmas show? Westport Town Hall Theatre has a fabulous festive line-up every year, and this year is no different. There’s the Festive Harmony show – an evening of dance, popular classical and musical favourites, carols and more – returns for its fourth year. There’s also beautiful Children’s theatre with the Christmas tale ‘Heart of Winter’, and Christmas concerts by string orchestra Octagon Ensemble, Westport Children’s Choir and Knockroosky National School. And, of course, there’s the all-important annual panto – this year it’s Bo Peep!
2. Westport Town Band
Few things are more Christmassy – or more symbolic of community – than a town brass band playing festive tunes, and here in Westport we have one of the best brass bands around. Established 130 years ago, the 40-strong Westport Town Band is part of our fabric. Catch them on Saturday, December 14, and again on Saturday, December 21, when they’ll be serenading shoppers on the streets with their rousing Christmas repertoire, resplendent in their bright blue, gold and black uniforms.
The band will also be playing in beautiful St Mary’s Church on Christmas Eve from 8.15pm, ahead of the 9pm Christmas Eve Mass.
3. Winter Wonderland
Give the kids a treat they’ll never forget and head to Winter Wonderland at Westport House, where a magical family experience brimming with Christmas cheer awaits. There’ll be fire-side storytelling with Mrs Clause, a visit to Santa in his magical grotto, a visit to Tinsel Town to see the elves at work, Santa letter writing at the North Pole Express post office, and more – and all in the atmospheric splendour of Westport House, beautifully bedecked in atmospheric twinkling lights, lush green garlands and sparkling tinsel trimmings.
4. Spraoi na Nollag
Don’t miss Spraoi na Nollag – an afternoon of free festive entertainment at The Octagon and Westport Town Hall on Sunday, December 15, when Santa himself will arrive in Westport. With the crib and giant Christmas tree taking centre stage at The Octagon, the whole area will be the a fabulously festive focal point. The Clew Bay Jarvey horse and carriage will bring the Man in Red led through the town, led by Westport Town Band, arriving The Octagon for a meet and greet with children. Then it’s into Westport Town Hall Theatre for storytelling, puppet shows, sweet treats, carol singing and more. Warning: Hearts will melt!
5. Christmas Day Swim
Every year for the last 36 years, the hardy souls at Westport Rugby Club have organised a traditional Christmas Day swim, raising funds for local charities. Join the Westport Bulls as they strip down to their swimming togs – bare skin to the biting breeze – before plunging into the icy waters of the Atlantic at Bertra Beach. You’re welcome to brave the briny elements too (a guaranteed hangover cure!), or simply head along to join the crowds giving the courageous dippers a massive cheer. Keep an eye on the club’s Website and Facebook page for updates about times.