Darleys and Barnardos

Darleys and Barnardos

Airtricity backs Docklands’ free Santa and all for a good ‘Claus’

– Free Santa’s Grotto and Children’s Giving Tree to aid Barnardos at Airtricity Docklands Christmas Festival –

3 December 2012: The Airtricity Docklands Christmas Festival is back once again at the IFSC from Friday 7 to Sunday 23 December and this year the centrepieces of the festival are free Santa’s Grotto and the Giving Tree, all in aid of Barnardos.

Ireland’s third-largest energy provider, Airtricity, is encouraging all visitors to the Airtricity Docklands Christmas Festival to leave an unwrapped gift for children who are availing of Barnardos’ services. Santa Claus will also be spreading the Christmas spirit once again from the Airtricity Green Grotto which boys and girls can visit entirely for free and families can leave donations if they wish to further help support Barnardos’ work.

The festival, which is now in its eighth year, saw over 200,000 visitors attend last year and this year is expected to be ever bigger with more than quarter of a million visitors expected to attend this Christmas. Full details on the festival are available on www.airtricity.com and on www.dublindocklandschristmasfestival.ie.

Open from Friday 7 December until Sunday 23 December, the festival runs daily from 12 noon until 8pm and from 10am to 8pm at weekends. Children and families visiting the festival will experience a truly festive and magical atmosphere among the many gourmet food and gift stalls, authentic Victorian fairground attractions and of course, visiting Santa Claus at Airtricity’s Green Grotto. Children awaiting their chance to meet Santa and reveal their Christmas lists can help Santa’s elves build toys, make Christmas cards and get their faces painted while their parents put their feet up and take the chance to relax and enjoy the Christmas spirit!

Last year over 2500 children donated presents and much needed financial support for Barnardos. Airtricity is hoping to collect even more gifts and raise as much as possible this year to help make this a special and happy Christmas for children in Ireland.

If that’s not enough, this year there will be a Christmas Treasure Hunt which will take place in the area surrounding the festival. The fun-filled adventure, which takes place from 12pm to 4pm on Sunday 16th December, is suitable for the entire family and will even take participants on the DART and Luas as they hunt for clues at different stops.

Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay said: “Once again we would like to thank Airtricity for their tremendous support. The Airtricity Docklands Christmas Festival has become a tradition for many families in the run up to Christmas and we hope this year will be an even better and more memorable experience than ever before. Unfortunately, this won’t be the case for many Irish families as Christmas can be a very a difficult time for those who are struggling. We are very grateful to Airtricity and the kindness and generosity of the general public who leave gifts and make donations each year so that those families can enjoy Christmas and continue to avail of Barnardos’ services.”

Airtricity Managing Director Stephen Wheeler said: “We’re proud to be able to support Barnardos once again. Barnardos offers a truly inspiring and outstanding service that supports children and their families throughout the year, and these services are particularly significant as we approach the Christmas season. We are delighted to welcome Santa Claus to the Airtricity Green Grotto and we are encouraging everyone who comes to meet Santa to make a contribution if they can to Barnardos. We are also delighted to be able to help support Barnardos’ services by encouraging all the boys and girls who visit the festival to leave gifts and presents for another child at the Barnardos Giving Tree, and in doing so, helping to brighten Christmas for other children who are not so fortunate.”

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