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Announcing Mullingar Winterfest

“Mullingar Winterfest is a six-week winter festival in the heart of the midlands opens on November 23rd and runs until January 6th. The main feature at the heart of it all will be ‘Mullingar On Ice’, a 600-square-metre ice rink in Mullingar Town Park that will be central to creating a winter wonderland unlike anything seen in the town before. The ice rink will be partly covered with a “festive” marquee, giving all those who come along the opportunity of skating both indoors and out.

All the best value and booking details are online at – early bird tickets are from €9, and there are €28 packages for families of four. There is a separate section on the ice-rink for smaller children and also skating aids for beginners to make it a fun day out for all of the family. Discounts are available for groups over 15 and it is the perfect destination to kick off school tours, work Christmas parties or end of year celebrations for sports teams. Please contact 044 925 2044 for group discounts. Mullingar on Ice is the only ice-skating rink in the midlands and will offer an alternative to local families who don’t want the hassle of travelling to Dublin.

The annual Christmas Market taking place from December 6th-9th will be completely modernised this year with a continental twist and relocation to Mullingar Town Park.

Marketing co-ordinator for Winterfest, Colm Baker said “There has been an outpouring of support from local communities, business owners and residents associations. Of course, with such a large investment undertaken, we are delighted to see that the people of Mullingar are really supporting us, buying tickets for the ice-skating and looking to help out and get involved. This is what it’s all about. The people of Mullingar working together to create a better town for everybody and a wonderful Christmas experience for the kids. In particular, we owe a serious debt of gratitude to Pete Coyne from Tipi Faoi Na Réaltaí who has come on board to organize spectacular Wooden German Huts & Double Tipi’s to create a wonderful Swedish Fika style experience during our Christmas Market.”

“Fika is a cultural concept in Sweden that is designed to allow you to take a moment to slow down, appreciate the good things in life and savor the moment while sipping on a hot drink & nibbling on some baked treats. In today’s fast-paced modern world we all crave a little bit of that and it will be a fantastic addition to the Mullingar Christmas Market for shoppers who need a break from the chaos.”

The Christmas market will also have an array of craft vendors, food stalls and live entertainment throughout the weekend. Mullingar Town Park also has a fully equipped playground, skate park and swimming pool for families to make the most of their day in the town.

Mullingar Chamber president, Tom Hyland, said Winter Fest Mullingar and Mullingar on Ice could bring 100,000 visitors to the town over a six-week period, with the Ice Rink alone welcoming 40,000 ice skaters. Chamber deputy president, Ian Kerr, added that Winterfest featuring Mullingar on Ice will be a “very positive addition” to the landscape locally an and could generate as much as €3 million in additional revenue for the town. A total of 30 temporary jobs will also be created in Mullingar.

Mullingar truly seems to becoming a winter wonderland and a perfect day out for all of the family in the Midlands this Christmas.


Winterfest Mullingar are extremely excited to announce Swedish Fika style experience for the Christmas Market in Mullingar Town Park.

With the spooky scenes of Halloween now past, the buzz around Mullingar & the surrounding areas is well and truly focused on Christmas and in particular, the arrival of Mullingar’s first ever ice-skating rink.

A huge amount of work has been undertaken behind the scenes to create a wonderful winter atmosphere in the town and to attract additional business to Mullingar during the busy Christmas period. We can now confirm that Mullingar’s annual Christmas Market will take place in the Mullingar Town Park adjacent to the ice skating rink from December 6-9th and will have an extra special twist this year.

Marketing co-ordinator for Winterfest, Colm Baker said “There has been an outpouring of support from local communities, business owners and residents associations. Of course, with such a large investment undertaken, we are delighted to see that the people of Mullingar are really supporting us, buying tickets for the ice-skating and looking to help out and get involved. This is what it’s all about. The people of Mullingar working together to create a better town for everybody and a wonderful Christmas experience for the kids. In particular, we owe a serious debt of gratitude to Pete Coyne from Tipi Faoi Na Réaltaí who has come on board to provide spectacular Wooden German Huts & Double Tipi’s (shown below) to create a wonderful Swedish Fika style experience during our Christmas Market.”

“Fika is a cultural concept in Sweden that is designed to allow you to take a moment to slow down, appreciate the good things in life and savor the moment while sipping on a hot drink & nibbling on some baked treats. In today’s fast-paced modern world we all crave a little bit of that and it will be a fantastic addition to the Mullingar Christmas Market for shoppers who need a break from the chaos.”

The scale of the project being undertaken by Mullingar Chamber cannot be understated. The ice-skating rink will be built on a structure over the pond and will hold up to 200 people with a separate section dedicated for small children. As can be seen from the images, the Christmas Market also promises to be a spectacular festival in Mullingar Town Park.

John Keane from Mullingar Chamber told us “From a logistics point of view it has been a mammoth task to organize everything and we couldn’t do it without the support of the local community. We were delighted to meet with local residents groups recently to discuss our plans and hear any concerns that they may have. In particular, we will be encouraging attendees to use designated parking areas such as the parking spaces at the Westmeath County Council buildings and ask everybody to respect the neighbouring areas when attending the ice rink and the Christmas Market.”

“It’s great to see such tremendous support from the local community and we hope that we continue to see people willing to help and get involved. We are working with the Mullingar community to create an extraordinary Christmas for everybody and we are really excited about the news that Tipi Faoi Na Realtai are bringing an unbelievable experience for the people of Mullingar. Ticket sales have surpassed some of the ice-skating rinks in the big cities, and that wouldn’t be possible without the locals of Mullingar who have been sharing our posts online and spreading the news far & wide.”

For those of you who have caught ice skating fever, Colm says, “Tickets are flying out and our early bird sale ends at the latest on the opening day Friday, November 23rd or if we sell out before that. Early bird tickets are only €9 but they are limited to 20 tickets per session so you need to be quick and book them online at One of the biggest reasons to choose Mullingar is that you can ditch the chaos, queues & terrible traffic that comes along with going ice skating in Dublin. While doing so, you will also be supporting local businesses and making it possible to have other major events like this in Mullingar in the future.”

And it’s not just for families and friends, there’s also been a huge amount of interest from local sports clubs, schools and businesses. Colm says, “We’ve also been busy reaching out to local sports clubs to offer particular sessions as fundraising opportunities to help them raise some money for clubs. Similarly, a number of schools have booked sessions on the ice-skating rink as part of their school tours and some companies have treated their staff to ice-skating as part of their Christmas work parties or just as a little treat for all their hard work throughout the year.”

It is hoped that Winterfest Mullingar will attract over 100,000 people to Mullingar this winter and will bring a much needed boost to the town. Mullingar will definitely be the hotspot of activity in the Midlands this winter and you better get your skates on if you want those early bird tickets.

If you want to find out more about the different options available for clubs, schools and businesses or sponsorship opportunities please email

All you need to know about Winterfest Mullingar

We recently sat down with John Keane from Mullingar Chamber of Commerce to find out more about the launch of Winterfest Mullingar and the details of Mullingar’s first-ever ice-skating rink that will be opening on November 23rd in the Town Park.

What has the reaction been to the launch of Winterfest?

I’m delighted to say that the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. We had a great day at the launch and I’d like to once again extend my thanks to all who participated. Since then, we have seen a massive interest in ice-skating tickets and local businesses have been asking how they can get involved with Winterfest. At the moment it seems that we will have the only ice-skating rink in the midlands so it’s a great alternative for families who don’t want the hassle & costs of travelling to Dublin.

How can local businesses get involved with Winterfest?

There are a number of sponsorship opportunities available for local businesses that will guarantee them huge exposure over the vital Christmas retail period. If any business owners want to find out more they can contact We were delighted to have the Annebrook House Hotel involved with our recent competition in the Westmeath Examiner and we hope other businesses will support Winterfest, as ultimately they will benefit from the people we attract to the town. The more we can attract, the more that local businesses will benefit. We also have a hot food vendor opportunity available for six weeks at prime position alongside the ice-skating rink.

Is there anything else planned for Winterfest Mullingar apart from ice-skating?

Yes. Mullingar Christmas Market is back again for it’s 5th year and will be taking place from December 6-9th. With fine food & drink as well as many great children’s attractions all weekend long, this has fast become the “must attend” event in the Midlands at Christmas time and we’re hoping that the ice-skating rink will attract even more people to the town.

How can you buy ice-skating tickets?

Ice-skating tickets are currently on sale on and there are a limited amount of early bird tickets remaining.

Can you just turn up to the ice-skating rink and pay?

Yes, you can buy tickets at the box office but this will be the most expensive option and you also could be disappointed if the session is full. The best thing to do is to book online and secure the best value early bird tickets.

What price are the tickets?

There are a limited number of early-bird tickets available at only €9. These are only available on Prices will then increase to €14 online and €17 at the box office at peak times.

How many early bird tickets are available?

There are only 20 early bird tickets per session. Many sessions have already sold out of early bird tickets so if you want to go ice-skating at a particular date and time you need to book as soon as possible to get the best value.

What is the best deal for families?

The early bird tickets are the best deal for families. Once the early bird tickets have sold out for a particular session families will benefit from a discounted price but this is more expensive than the early bird tickets.

Is the ice-skating rink kid friendly?

Yes, absolutely. There is a kids skating rink to make sure the smaller children have a safe place to skate! There are also penguin skating aids to help kids and beginners keep their balance.

What is the best deal for groups eg. Christmas parties?

The best deal at the moment for everyone is the early bird tickets. However, because many of these have sold out already, groups over 15 people eg. transition year students, school tours, work parties etc. can contact the sales team on 044 925 2044 to book directly at a reduced rate.

Who should go ice-skating this year?

EVERYONE! It’s not often that Mullingar has something as extraordinary as an ice-skating rink in the Town Park so it’s crucial that the people of Mullingar support it, tell everyone about it and join in on the fun. It would seriously dent the confidence of any future event organizers to choose Mullingar as a destination if the ice-skating rink is not a success. Of course it will make for a great day out with friends, family and work colleagues!

Over 1,500 Ice Skating Tickets Sold in the First Week

Ice Skating fever has well and truly hit Mullingar since the launch of Winterfest Mullingar with over 1,500 ice skating tickets being sold in the first week. The town has been gripped by excitement following the news that Mullingar Town Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland very shortly. John Keane of Mullingar Chamber said “We had a wonderful launch in the Park with so many local businesses and representatives showing their support for this unique initiative and that has been backed up by a huge number of ticket sales in the first week.”

Winterfest Mulllingar is a six week festival that will incorporate a range of events including Mullingar’s Annual Christmas Market and is expected to bring over 100,000 visitors to the town in what will be a massive boost for local businesses. John says “The Christmas Market has created a fabulous festive atmosphere in the town over recent years and Mullingar on Ice will only help to enhance that festive feeling and bring more people into town during a vital period for retailers, restaurants and pubs. It is absolutely vital that business owners and the local community get behind Winterfest and spread the word far and wide.”

With the prospect of being the only ice-skating rink in the Midlands this winter it’s clear why tickets are proving to be such hot property. John says “We were surprised with how fast we passed the 1,000 ticket sales mark but when you consider that tickets are only €9 and that it saves families the hassle of travelling to Dublin during the hectic Christmas period you can see why people are choosing Mullingar on Ice. There are a limited number of ice-skating tickets remaining for only €9 available on and over 12 sesssions have already sold out of early bird tickets. So, if you want to secure a date and time to go with your friends, family or your Christmas work party, you need to book on as soon as possible.”

The History of Mount Street – Ruth Illingworth

Mount Street is one of the oldest and most historic streets in Mullingar. It was part of the original streetscape of the town when Mullingar was founded by the Normans more than 800 years ago.  The Norman Lord of Mullingar, William Petit, built his castle just south of Mount Street where the County Buildings now stand. The name “Mount” actually refers to the castle-which was  called “Petit’s Castle; the “Great Castle or “the Mount.”The castle stood for more than five centuries and housed the first military base and the first church in the history of the town.

The Courthouse at the southern end of Mount Street dates back to 1824.As well as housing the courts, the building also served as a meeting place for Mullingar Town Commission and for Westmeath County Council in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The very first meeting of the Town Commission was held there in 1856 and the County Council held meetings there until the County Buildings opened in 1912. Election results were announced from the Courthouse for many years. In 1857 there was a major riot on Mount Street between supporters of rival election candidates.There was another riot in 1899 when Nationalist politicians decided to defy British authority and raise the  Irish flag on the Courthouse. Those tried in the Courthouse for political offences included Westmeath MPLarry Ginnell in 1918, Westmeath Ladies Land League President, Mary  O Connor, in 1882, and Land League founder member and Westmeath MP, Tim Harrington in 1883.

The first police station in Mullingar was in Mount Street. The Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks was located on the west side of the street across from the courthouse from the 1830s to the 1850s.

The novelist James Joyce came to Mullingar in 1900 with his father, who was doing work for the County Council. Joyce and his father worked in the Courthouse and may have stayed in lodgings on Mount Street. They had meals in a pub called Connellan’s, which stood where Caffreys’ Bar is now. Joyce probably posted letters in the post box on the wall of what is now Wallaces’ pub. The post box there dates back to Victorian times. Joyce returned to Mullingar with his father in 1901. He never forgot the town-which features in nearly all his writings. Connellans’ Bar used to have large advertisements for “Teas, Teas, Teas!”. In “Ulysses”, Joyce simply transposed the advertisement to the window of a Dublin shop. Joyce would have walked up and down Mount Street every day he was in Mullingar.

The cultural organisation, Comhalthas Ceolteoiri Eireann was founded at a meeting in the Midland Hotel in Mount Street in 1951. The first All Ireland Fleadh was held in Mullingar later that year and Mount Street was one of the venues for events during the Fleadh Ceoil na hEireann of 1963, which was held in Mullingar. The Midlands Regional Headquarters of Comhalthas opened in part of the County Buildings at the southern end of Mount Street in 2010.

The Norman Castle was demolished in the eighteenth century and replaced by the County Jail, which opened in 1789 and closed in 1900. Up until 1868, when public executions were stopped, crowds would gather weekly in Mount Street to get a good view of the hangings carried out in the jail. On one occasion, ten men were hanged in one week. A tunnel under the road connected the jail and the courthouse. The 19th-century novelist, William Carleton, who worked as a teacher in Mullingar between 1822 and 1824, was briefly imprisoned for debt in the jail in 1824.

A ghost is said to appear at the window of a building on the west side of Mount Street. Tradition says that the ghost is that of a person who was watching a hanging from the window when the window sash fell down and killed him.

Among those hanged in the jail was Bryan Seery, a tenant farmer from Castletown Geoghegan, who was executed in 1846 for the attempted murder of his former landlord, Sir Francis Hopkins. There were strong doubts about Seery’s guilt and those who called for him to be reprieved included Charles Dickens and Daniel O Connell. In 1920, Mullingar Town Commission re-named Mount Street “Seery Street” in his memory. In Irish, the street is “Sraid Seery.”

Part of Mount Street was also once known as Sterne Street-named after a relative of the 18th-century Irish novelist Lawrence Sterne, who lived in Mullingar for a short time as a boy.

The jail was demolished in 1910 and the new County Buildings and County Hall opened in 1913. Numerous stars of theatre and music have appeared in the Mullingar Arts Centre – which was known until 1998 as the County Hall. Among those to appear on the stage were Cyril Cusack, Maureen Potter, Joe Dolan, Ray McAnally and the Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Harold Pinter. New County Buildings opened in 2009 behind the original buildings. Some parts of the old jail still survive-including the Governor’s House and parts of the walls. The first vocational or technical school in Mullingar was situated in the Governor’s House. In 1915, it was proudly announced that the school now had a typewriter.

Many of the shops on Mount Street have been in business for forty years or more.These include Frayne’s, the Roma Cafe, Topic Newsagents and Caffreys’ Bar. In the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, “Larry Caffrey’s Singing Lounge”, was one of the major entertainment venues in Mullingar. Mick Foster of Foster & Allen played there early on in his career. What is now Chambers Bar is the latest in a long line of pubs located in that building going back to at least 1911.

Christmas Magic at the Mullingar Christmas Market

Christmas Market Mullingar

The Mullingar Chamber in conjunction with the Westmeath County Council were delighted to host the annual Christmas Market last weekend.

The event which is now the largest Christmas market in the Midlands took place once again on Mount Street and saw crowds attend from all around the area. The market brought Christmas cheer to the town with lots of fun festive activities for the whole family, a fabulous of array of over 80 food and craft stalls, Santa and Mrs Claus, vintage children’s attractions and the indoor cinema.

We have had tremendous support locally for the event and would like to thank all our volunteers, Civil Defence, Order of Malta, Mullingar Tidy Towns, Mount Street Traders and local schools.

The staff of Westmeath County Council who braved the wintery weather conditions clearing streets and paths to ensure the safety of the public over the four days.

This community effort thrives on the collaboration of the town’s retail and business community working alongside Westmeath County Council. A huge thank you to the Mullingar Men’s Shed who built Santa a wonderful new home for his time in Mullingar.

Over the four days, we have had a fantastic array of local school choirs, musical groups and musicians who took centre stage on Market Square and provided a magical welcoming atmosphere to all our visitors.

We would like to thank all our sponsors including Lidl Ireland, Mc Namee Tyres, Permanent TSB, Apache Pizza, Marlinstown Business Park, Forest Park Business Park, Kelbuild, Buckley’s SuperValu, Mileage Tyres, The Greville Arms Hotel, Bloomfield House Hotel, C & D Foods, Mc Donald’s Mullingar, Quality Tractor Parts, Bank of Ireland.

We would also like to thank specific local businesses who provided direct assistance The Annebrook Hotel, The Mullingar Park Hotel, The Planning Partnership, CL Skip Hire, Harbour Place Shopping Centre, Keyguard Security, IDASO, Matthews Audio Visual, O Sullivan Safety, Cookie Web, Lift Hire, ORS, The Chambers Bar, Columbia Bar, Skyfab, SJF Productions and Aras An Mhuilinn.

The event received some fantastic media coverage from Midlands 103 and TG4 and we would like to congratulate our two local Irish speakers who represented the town, Matt Nolan and Caroline Robinson.

Chamber President, Tom Hyland said that we are looking forward to next years event already and have some fantastic ideas to make the event bigger and better for the town. We would welcome any suggestions on how to continuously improve the event.

Santa’s Grotto

Santa's Grotto

Santa and Mrs Clause will be leaving the Mullingar Park Hotel at 11.30am this morning, courtesy of Flynn Fuels, and they are due to arrive at Santa’s Grotto at 12 noon.

The Mullingar Men’s Shed has done a fantastic job of building the Grotto which will be a regular attraction in Market Square for years to come.

Santa and Mrs Clause will in the Grotto from 12 noon to 6pm every day of this year’s Christmas Market.

The cost of visiting Santa’s Grotto is:

santa's Grotto Price List



Timetable for our Choirs, Singers and Bands

Jolly Hollies singing at Mullingar Christmas Market

We are delighted to have a wide range of 20 choirs, bands and singers performing in Market Square every day of our 4-day Christmas Market between 12 noon – 4pm:


Timetable for Choirs

Thursday 7th December
12.00pm St Finians College
12.30pm St Finians College
1.00pm Lee Brady
1.30pm Presentation Senior School
2.00pm Loreto College Olivia Toman
2.30pm Charlie James Walker:
3.00pm Charlie James Walker:
3.30pm Charlie James Walker:
Friday 8th December
12.00pm Gaelscoil An Mhuillean
12.30pm Educate Together
1.00pm CBS Secondary Mary
1.30pm St Brigid’s School
2.00pm Mullingar Community College
2.30pm Sweet Tunes
3.00pm To Be Confirmed
3.30pm Mullingar Musical Allsorts
Saturday 9th December
12.00pm Mullingar Gospel Choir
12.30pm Mullingar Town Band
1.00pm Mullingar Town Band
1.30pm Mullingar Town Band
2.00pm All Saints Senior Choir
2.30pm Junior Ukulele Group / Fusion Of Lir Choir
3.00pm Lir Ukulele Band
3.30pm Jolly Hollies
Sunday 10th December
12.00pm To Be Confirmed
12.30pm Mullingar Town Band
1.00pm Mullingar Town Band
1.30pm Mullingar Town Band
2.00pm AIRC Midlands Mullingar
2.30pm AIRC Midlands Mullingar
3.00pm Megan Bates
3.30pm Jolly Hollies

This Year’s Vintage Children’s Attractions

vintage children's carousel

This year we have 2 vintage children’s attraction provided by the Vintage Carousel Company.

Last year’s carousel was, in fact, an adult one and some mothers were concerned that it was too fast. So this year we have a vintage children’s hobby horse carousel (pictured below).

Vintage children's carousel

We also have a children’s chairoplane (pictured below).

vintage children's carousel