All aboard now for Clonakilty’s Polar Express

October 24th, 2021 8:00 PM

By Emma Connolly

Clonakilty has big plans for a Christmas Santa Experience this year. Launching the exciting event his week were, from left: Kim McNamara, manager of West Cork Railway Village; Paul Hayes, chair of Clonakilty’s Enterprise Board and Orla O’Donovan, chair of Clonakilty Chamber. (Photo: Dermot Sullivan)

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A UNIQUE Santa experience will be unveiled at Clonakilty’s Model Railway Village next month. 

The town’s Chamber and the team at the popular tourist attraction have announced The Polar Express, which will run from November 26th all the way to Christmas Eve. They’ve teamed up with renowned event producer Karl O’Connor, known for his interactive shows, and in particular The Nightmare Realm at the RDS. 

He described the Model Railway Village as a ‘fantastic amenity,’ and said the Christmas show he’s planning is ‘a fantastic opportunity to supplement what’s already there.’ 

‘Events are back with a bang and people are crying out for things to do. This will see the village transformed into a wonderland, with inspiration from Harry Potter movies. It will be a really high-end, quality and interactive experience,’ he said. 

There’ll be a chance to meet Santa, his elves, enjoy fun and treats on candy cane lane and more. The model village itself will also be covered with trees, and fairy lights, and all the trains will be individually lit-up and running.

Clonakilty Enterprise Board chairman and Independent councillor Paul Hayes said: ‘I’m hugely excited with what’s proposed for the Model Village this Christmas. We already have a fantastic facility here which is enjoyed by thousands of people annually, but together with the expertise of Karl, we’ll really be able to present something very special for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. I hope that this will be the first of many spectacular events that will be hosted at the popular tourist attraction into the future. I’m confident that it will be a boost for Clon and the region.’

Chamber chair Orla O’Donovan also pointed to the positive knock on effect the attraction will have for the town: ‘Families will no doubt be looking to spend and eat before and after the event and it’s a great opportunity for some extra footfall in November and December that might have gone elsewhere for Santa visits were we not putting on this event.’

Tickets are on sale this Friday, (October 22nd) at €14 per adult and €22 per child. 

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