THE second annual Mayo on Ice skating rink promotion at the Mall in Castlebar this Christmas has been officially launched.
The event will open on Friday afternoon November 30, and run for five weeks up to Sunday, January 4. The Christmas lights in Castlebar will also be turned on at the opening on November 30.
Behind the venture is Castlebar Chamber of Commerce, backed by Mayo County Council and the local business sector.
Promoter Brian McGee of Carousel Ireland Limited, Killarney, will move onto the site on November 21 to begin work on assembling the facility.
It will include a new attraction, known as Star Flyer, which, at 40ft. high, will dominate the town's skyline over the festive season.
Speaking at this evening's launch in Mulroy's Bar and Restaurant, Mr. McGee said the project represented a €250,000 investment by his company and he looked forward to the support of the county at large.
He said: “We are delighted with the support we have received from Castlebar Chamber of Commerce and the council.
“We are determined to build on the success of last year's event when 25,000 paying customers enjoyed the facility. Our new attraction will drive up those numbers. I am confident of that.
John Mulroy, president, Castlebar Chamber of Commerce, said it is a wonderful coup for Castlebar and the county to have the ice rink and other attractions back for the 2018 festival season in the heart of the town.
“It's all part of our overall objective to rebuild the town as the major commercial centre that it is. We are looking forward to significant numbers visiting and spending money in Castlebar over the festive season as a result of this initiative.
“But we need the support of the public at large and I extend a special thanks to Brian McGee for bringing his €250,000 project here.”
Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, cathaoirleach, Castlebar Municipal District, said it is great to see everybody working together towards the betterment of the town.
“It is a boost for the confidence of the town that the event is happening again and I will continue to be supportive of it as long as every effort is made to protect the Mall and its surface."
Christmas markets and food stalls to be located in close proximity to the ice rink to further enhance the atmosphere.
Bernard Hughes, master of ceremonies, thanked the elected members and officials of Castlebar Municipal District for their support and extended a special welcome to John Condon, director of services, for his attendance at the launch.
Councillor Martin McLoughlin, Castlebar Municipal District, said Castlebar had turned a corner commercially and it is vital to maintain the forward momentum.
It was also announced by P.J, Cunningham of Mayo Bulls at the launch that the Mayo Under 12 Ice Hockey squad will be training at the rink over the Christmas period, durinh which it is hoped they will have a home fixture in the national league.
The ice rink is being sponsored by The Connaught Telegraph, First Choice Credit Union, Mayo County Council and Mid West Radio.