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Westport making plans to celebrate Christmas

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MAKING CHRISTMAS PLANS Helen Gavin, President, Westport Chamber. Pic: Frank Dolan

Áine Ryan

SANTA Claus’s magical powers are bound to be in play when Westport Chamber of Commerce launches its Virtual Xmas Festival on Friday, November 20. From a festive market to a three-hour toy show, treasure hunt and Mrs Claus herself telling tales, the season to be jolly is all set for take-off in the west Mayo town.
The Chamber is also about to announce the winner on Sunday next, November 15, of its recent campaign called ‘Around the World in 28 Days’. Its interviews of  ‘28 wandering Covies in 28 locations around the world over 28 consecutive days’, has been an enormous success.
“Each Facebook Live featured a character from Westport and friends of Westport where each candidate expressed their love of the town and shared their version of Christmas cheer,” Helen Gavin, President of Westport Chamber of Commerce told The Mayo News. She confirmed the winner will win flights home for two people, to be used when restrictions allow, and it will be their job to nominate the person who turns on the Christmas lights in the town this year.
Speaking also about the Christmas festival, she said: “This has been a tough year and Westport Chamber want to raise the spirits of the local community by making Westport a special and magical place, even during Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.”
She also outlined details of the virtual Christmas Markets and the Toy Show, with entries due to close on Friday, November 13 next. Along with other online events, the entire initiative aim to ensure a festive feeling despite the pressures of the pandemic.

Offers and deals
The overall goal of the virtual Christmas markets is to inform shoppers about offers and deals before shops reopen on the expected date of December 1, Helen Gavin explains.
“Shopping local and supporting local businesses is more important this year than ever before and we have been working away with our members to ensure we deliver a special Christmas no matter what the restrictions may be,” she said. “Westport has an impressive variety of businesses and the virtual Christmas Markets will be a hub to promote all businesses who take part, no matter the size or the industry.”
She assured businesses which do not have websites that the virtual markets will also be delivered through Facebook
“If you are a business owner and you would like your business to take part in the Westport Christmas Markets, please send an email expressing your interest to westportchristmasevents@gmail.com,” Ms Gavin continued.  
The Westport Toy Show will be a live three-hour event also broadcast on Facebook.
“It will bring together children and adults alike from the local community and the diaspora. The show will feature local characters, local sports heroes, local talent and, of course, Mr and Mrs Claus. It is scheduled to air on Friday, November 20 and is now calling now for submissions from parents who would like their children to  participate.
As mentioned above the closing date is Friday, November 13, and the Westport Toy Show will air on the following Friday,  November 20 at 7pm on the Westport Chamber Facebook Page.

MORE information on submissions are on the Westport Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page.