Although quite windy and showery, the streets of Castlebar were thronged on Christmas Eve with last minute shoppers. Collecting the turkey and ham and finding that elusive last minute gift - bookshops, record shops, and cosmetic counters all chockablock. Shops had a bumper season because many people were disbursing their long-stored cash before the euro puts the punt out of style on 9th February. Every ATM in town had a long queue of people waiting to fire up their plastic and convert it into the last punts that they are likely to own.
|Main Street, Castlebar on Christmas Eve 2001|
The brass band literally braved the gale carolling their way up Main Street. A lone accordionist competed with them near the top of Main Street but eventually gave in and waited for them to move on. In spite of the miserable weather good cheer abounded with "Happy Christmas" all round as people greeted friends - many that they wouldn't have seen since this time last year. Finally the shops closed their doors and things started to wind down - everywhere except for the pubs.
|The Brass Band Braving the Elements|
Midnight Mass for many and Christmas Day is here before you know it. All the children tucked up in bed hoping that Santa will arrive unaffected by the weather.
|Castlebar Brass Band outside Hynes|
© Copyright 2006 by the author(s)/photographer(s) and www.castlebar.ie
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