Carrick begins to prepare for 400 year celebrations

We may just be a wet week into January but Carrick-on-Shannon is gearing towards it’s big 400 year celebrations starting on March 17.

We may just be a wet week into January but Carrick-on-Shannon is gearing towards it’s big 400 year celebrations starting on March 17.

The retailers of Carrick-on-Shannon reported a very successful Christmas and New Year trading, giving the town a boost of positivity as it faces it’s 400th anniversary this year.

A number of events to entertain every sector and age group will be held in the town over the next 12 months, with the first big event being St Patrick’s Day.

Chairman of Carrick-on-Shannon Chamber of Commerce, Gerry Faughnan told the paper Carrick was “buzzing” with people over the festive period.

He congratulated the Christmas in Carrick committee who worked hard to attract people into the county town and he said the free parking also helped boost footfall into the town centre. Mr Faughnan said he was “delighted” with the response from local people.

CSO figures for November show a slump in retail last year, which has caused the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, to call for the immediate introduction of a Retail Strategy Group, outlining that thousands of jobs will continue to be at risk unless serious action is taken to address issues impacting on the sector, particularly the rising costs to business.

Gerry Faughnan said he believed sales were down because people were uncertain of the impacts from the December budget. He said he noticed a significant increase in sales after the budget.

2013 is expected to be a huge year for Carrick, the town celebrates 400 years since the town charter was granted and celebrations kick off with a massive St Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17.

Plans are already afoot for the big opening day, and the Chamber of Commerce are asking businesses to start organising their floats and events now.

Gerry Faughnan said they want “everyone to get involved to make the event truly special.”

He said they are asking other Leitrim towns to also get involved and represent their locality in the county town.

The Chamber of Commerce along with Leitrim Arts and Leitrim County Council are joining with local artists to offer advice, ideas and tips for creating special floats for the big parade.

Anyone who would like some help should contact the office on (071) 9622245.