New site for Roscrea Christmas festival

 New site for Roscrea Christmas festival

The Blackmills and Monastic site in the centre of Roscrea. The round tower will be lit up, creating a majestic centre piece for Roscrea Christmas festival

Darren Keegan


Darren Keegan


THE Taste of Roscrea Christmas Festival and Market, which has become an annual seasonal highlight for people from across the Midlands, will take a new direction this year and move to the Blackmills Complex in the centre of the heritage town.

Traditionally held in the large courtyard of Roscrea Castle, where a myriad of stalls and attractions form a beautiful Christmas Market and Santa and his elves setup their workshop in Roscrea Castle, this year the organisers are excited to announce their new event titled ‘A Taste of Christmas 2019.’

Roscrea boasts an embarrassment of riches in terms of picturesque historic sites and this year the beautiful Blackmills complex, which is flanked by Roscrea’s iconic Monastic Round Tower, will be turned into a winter wonderland for families and seasonal visitors expected to flock to Roscrea.

The organisers told the Tribune this week the Round Tower will be lit up and become a Christmas beacon of light and that the Blackmills, a sadly under-utilised historic site in Roscrea, will allow for an indoor Christmas Market - good news for stall traders after years of coping with very inclement weather while exposed in the Castle’s open courtyard for previous years.

Chairman of the organising committee, Councillor Michael Smith (FF), said this year’s festival , which is now in its eighth year, provides an opportunity to showcase another of Roscrea’s “stunning historical attractions.”

“We are very fortunate to get access to another incredible OPW site in the heart of the town, which is an amazing site and allows us to have the Market indoors and out of the weather for the first time.

“Exhibitors will be able to showcase their products in the historical indoor setting on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th of December and Roscrea Town is set to have a bumper two days of visitors and activities for all ages,” Cllr. Smith said.

The committee known as Taste of Christmas said they have been working on this exciting project for a number of months and are generous in their praise for the OPW officials.

Cathaoirleach of the Roscrea/Templemore Municipal District and Chairperson of the festival Michael Smith spearheaded a proposal to seek permission to use the Black Mills for the upcoming event.

“I firstly would like to acknowledge the help and support the OPW staff have given our committee to make this a reality. This new venture was fully embraced by the local Authority who have co operated with us as we try create a real spirit of Christmas in the Town. We are very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers who give of their time, working diligently in one of the towns historical sites”.

The committee have this year partnered with the Roscrea Lions Club to assist in their local Food Appeal.

Cllr. Smith said it promises to be “an eventful and entertaining few days with the Black Mills full to capacity with food and craft stalls. Some lovely gifts for Christmas and all proceeds from this year’s event will help out the fantastic work by Roscrea Lions Club”.

Among the attractions for the children is the popular Santa’s Train, Snow Globe, balloon modelling, face painting as Santa Claus awaits to meet all the boys and girls.

The times for the Taste of Christmas is 12pm to 6pm each day and the organisers remind you that Santa Claus will be waiting!

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