IT may only be July but in Lifford they are already looking ahead to Christmas.
A campaign has been launched to raise €2,000 to buy festive illuminations for the border town. And since going live, the drive has already surpassed the half way mark.
At the moment f €1,250 has been donated, much to the delight of organisers.
“It’s great to see so many people get involved,” said Gary Doherty, Cathaoirleach of the Lifford Stranorlar Municipal District.
“Lifford is the county town of Donegal and it is befitting of its stature that it should have its own festive lights display.”
The lights project is a component of a wider reawakening of community pride in the town, one sparked by the Covid-19 crisis.
Following the outbreak of the pandemic volunteers got together to set up a meals on wheels service. It has helped hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people get through lockdown.
According to Gary Doherty, there is a strong appetite to harness that energy and to channel it into other community initiatives.
“At the start of the Covid crisis I got involved with the meals on wheels group which has done great work in bringing a much needed service to the area. And from that has come this idea of forming a group to foster the needs of the community as a whole, an umbrella group of sorts.
“The plan is that as a single entity the group will look towards other events such as a local festival.
“We decided that one thing we can look at for this year and something that we can get over the line is the Christmas lights display.
“Plenty of other towns have it, none more so than Lifford’s nearest neighbour Strabane, and it creates a really positive atmosphere.”
With funding secured for the Riverine Project which will link Lifford with Strabane like never before, the new committee has been set up at what is going to be a busy time for the border area.
“There is an energy there,” said Gary Doherty.
“For example Donegal County Council brings hundreds of people into Lifford everyday. So this is about creating something that will regenerate Lifford and the Christmas lights fundraiser feeds into that ethos.”
To make a donation click here: https://www.gofundme.com/mvc.php?route=homepage_norma/search&term=Lifford%20lights