Kicking off Christmas in Longford with arts, Santa, lights, entertainment and the #ShopLongford Elves

Multiple family friendly events as “Project Us” also takes place in Connolly Barracks

Press Release: 20 November 2023

Longford Town is the place to be this Friday evening, as multiple events take place to both herald the arrival of the busy Christmas season and add to the fantastic arts offering of County Longford.

Longford Municipal District, as part of Longford County Council is delighted to welcome Santa and Mrs Claus back to Longford Town to turn on the Christmas lights yet again. Santa will be accompanied on his journey by the Bula Bula Samba Band as he arrives on Main Street this year.

The event will take place at 6.30pm this Friday, 24 November, coinciding with the launch of a number of exciting initiatives and events this Christmas #ShopLongford season. Longford County Council looks forward to welcoming children and their families to celebrate Christmas in our county town.

#ShopLongford Elves have arrived

This year, Longford Chamber of Commerce and the Local Enterprise Office, Longford have launched the #ShopLongford Elves campaign, to support local businesses in the run up to Christmas.

The #ShopLongford Elves have arrived in Longford Town, and over the next four weeks, they'll be making appearances at 20 retail outlets, giving customers a chance to win €50 vouchers from some of Longford's best retailers.

To be in with a chance to win, customers must take a photo of the elf and post it on Facebook or Instagram tagging the business and using the hashtag #ElfinLongford.

For more information and updates on the campaign, follow Longford Chamber and Local Enterprise Office Longford on Facebook and Instagram.

“Project Us” visual art installation

While Longford Town will be lit up by Santa and Mrs Claus, the “Project Us” event will be lighting up Connolly Barracks, also in vivid and bright lights, for the duration of Friday evening, from 6.30pm until 9pm.

The art installation is a wall projection created by visual artist Caroline Conway and music composer Niamh Ní Mheara. Both artists worked with fifth year students from Mean Scoil Mhuire and Templemichael College on themes and concepts that they identified with growing up in an ethnically diverse community. The project was jointly funded by The Arts Council of Ireland's Project Commissions Award and Longford Arts Service.

Caroline Conway is the artistic Director of Longford Lights 2024, and this project gives us a sneak peek of what is in store as part of the now iconic Longford Lights festival when it takes place in the new year.

A former student of Mean Scoil Mhuire, Niamh Ní Mheara is an accomplished Irish composer and songwriter returning to her alma mater in working with local schools for this project.

Families attending Longford Town for the turning on of the Christmas lights are invited to take a stroll down to Connolly Barracks to enjoy the spectacle.

Turning on the Christmas Lights

The Christmas Lights event coincides with the beginning of free off-street parking around Longford Town in support of the annual #ShopLongford campaign, which will continue each weekend in the run up to Christmas and throughout the two weeks of the festive season.

Coming all the way from the North Pole on his sleigh, Santa will arrive to Main Street in Longford at around 6pm on Black Friday, before officially switching on the Christmas lights there at 6.30pm.

Santa will be joined by Mrs Claus on stage as well as Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Colm Murray, Longford Municipal District Cathaoirleach Cllr Martin Monaghan and the elected members of Longford Municipal District.

Speaking in advance of the event, Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Colm Murray paid tribute to Santa. “We know this is a very important and busy time of year for Santa and his elves, so we are really lucky that he is joining us in Longford for this special occasion. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for families to come out, experience some art in Connolly Barracks, see Longford’s beautiful Christmas lights display and experience some of the lovely shopping, dining, and hospitality options available in Longford Town again this Christmas.”

Longford County Council Chief Executive Paddy Mahon added, “Hopefully the weather will be kind on the evening, making it easy for Santa to fly in. We encourage everyone to come into Longford Town and show support to the many local businesses who are also busy preparing for the upcoming #ShopLongford Christmas season.”

The event will also feature a number of different festive performing acts, with Music Generation featuring alongside a DJ set that is also included. After turning on the lights, children can then visit Santa in his Grotto, which will also be located on Main Street.

Longford Municipal District as part of Longford County Council will be supported on the night for the event by volunteers, security, dedicated members of Longford Civil Defence and An Garda Síochána.

Road closures will be in place to facilitate Santa’s arrival and the Christmas Lights event, and motorists approaching Longford town are advised that the Main Street will be closed between The Longford Arms Hotel and the Post Office, with pedestrian access maintained at all points.

For further information on the Black Friday Christmas Lights Turning On event, or on the free off-street parking locations around Longford Town, check out or follow Longford County Council on social media.