Fri, Mar
23 New Articles

Beat the budget blues at Westport’s Shop ’N Spraoi

Beat the budget blues at Westport’s Shop ’N Spraoi

Áine Ryan

BUDGET blues will be banished when Westport’s Shop ‘n Spraoi na Nollag festivities transform the town into a magical winter wonderland next weekend (December 9 to 11). Now in its third year, this family-fun and bilingual festival attracts craftspeople and artisan producers from all over the county.
And with Daidí na Nollag arriving, via the Carrowbeg River, on his specially built sleigh, there is sure to be lots of whoops and ho-ho-hos as children gather at the old Bank of Ireland courtyard to meet the magical man from the North Pole.
Moreover, the Nativity story will have an added poignancy when children from many local primary schools transform into Mary and Joseph, as well as the shepherds, in the live crib.  
Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on the heritage haven, which will be bedecked with market stalls filled with produce, goods and crafts suitable for the most aromatic Christmas kitchens and for under the best decorated trees.
This year’s fare includes hand-crafted pottery, jewellery, tempting local jams and confectionery, flowers, savoury home-baking, handmade Christmas cards, unusual craft gifts, mulled wine, wood carvings, paintings, intricate glassware, organic cheeses, hand crocheted blankets.
To add to the traditional cultural flavour Muintir Chathair na Mart will host an Oíche Scéaldrámaíochta by Aisteoirí Chorr na Móna in the Wyatt Hotel on Friday night. Over the weekend there will also be carol singing, sean nós dancing and ceol beo.
Add to the seasonal spectacle light shows, juggling, puppeteering as well as  Strawboys from Belmullet.
And when the shopping is complete, lig do scíth with an evening of craic, ceol and cómhra in Matt Molloy’s, or any of the other welcoming pubs or hosteleries, on Saturday evening.

MORE Westport Shop ’N Spraoi on Facebook or www.westportmarket.ie