Winter is coming: Newry set for Winter Wonderland extravaganza
Newry’s Albert Basin is set to entertain a huge influx of visitors after it was confirmed that the city will play host to a Winter Wonderland themed extravaganza.
The month long initiative, which is a privately funded project, will take place from 7th December 2013 until 5th January 2014.
According to organisers the exciting initiative, which is expected to attract over 100,000 visitors to the city, will include an ice rink, crazy golf, a drive in movie, an ice bar, Santa Town and a Santa’s workshop.
And as temperatures plunge and local people are getting into the festive spirit by ‘dancing on ice’ they could also be joined by the imposing figure of a big wheel dominating the Newry skyline.
According to the council proposal, local people are in line for a ‘cool’ experience. It is envisaged that visitors will enjoy their stay in a ‘city frozen in time’ after entering through an iceberg where they will collect their skates from an igloo and then skate with the penguins before having their photograph taken with the polar bars.
And in a boost for Newry’s hard hit unemployed, the £1.5m project is also expected to create nearly 30 temporary jobs locally.
Reacting to the news, SDLP Councillor Connaire McGreevy described Winter Wonderland as a ‘welcome enhancement’ to the Newry and Mourne Christmas offering.
McGreevy explained, “This came to council on Monday night following an earlier meeting that day and it was backed by all in the anticipation that it can draw new people to the City and area and encourage them to stay and explore our wonderful offerings.
He added, “We will need to consider how we also promote the rest of the region to the visitors to ensure the entire district has a spin off.”
Also welcoming the news on behalf of local businesses, Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade Chief Executive Orla Jackson stated, “Newry Chamber supports this initiative which promises to be a major tourist attraction for Newry City over the Christmas period.
“The economic benefit this project will bring should have a ripple effect throughout the City; positively impacting on our local retailers, our service sector and nighttime economy establishments.”
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