It wouldn't be Christmas without Christmas markets, and I BELIEVE is Dublin's latest offering in that department.
Taking place at Custom House Quay, I BELIEVE is being billed as Ireland’s first winter food, drink, craft and horticulture festival. It also looks like it's going to be a Christmas lover's feckin' paradise.
We had a look at what they have to offer this holiday season and here's what we discovered...
1. There's a massive Christmas tree
You might remember we mentioned this Christmas tree a while back. Inspired by the world-famous Rockefeller Tree in New York, this gigantic Christmas tree is being donated by Coillte and it'll stand at a staggering 50 foot. We can only presume the baubles will be ridiculous.
2. 230 seasonal jobs will be created
And they'll be needing that many staff, since 10,000 visitors expected per day are expected for the market. With all the bodies attracted to the festivities, I BELIEVE is expected to inject €8.4 million into the economy. And if that many people are going, you'll have to check it out for the gawk.
3. There's an emphasis on supporting Irish businesses
With Christmas being about community, loving your neighbour and all that jazz, it makes sense that one of the main goals of this market is to encourage shopping locally by showcasing what Irish traders, craftspeople and producers have to offer. Pretty nice idea.
4. It'll put us on the 'Christmas market map'
The plan is that it'll become one of the most successful Christmas markets in Europe in three to five years. Speaking at the launch, the Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh said it's her hope that I BELIEVE will put Dublin on the ‘Christmas market map’. That's the dream, right there.
5. Supporting charity is at its heart
Christmas is a very difficult time for many in Ireland, so the I BELIEVE Charitable Fund will financially support seven different charities each year of the market. This Christmas' recipients will include Temple Street Foundation, Simon Communities Ireland, ISPCC Childline, Barretstown, Inner City Helping Homeless, Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Christina Noble Children’s Foundation.
6. There’ll be great food
They found our one weakness. With the likes of Bean & Goose chocolatiers, Raman Patel of Patel Foods, and Two Tarts Baking providing food for the market, we expect foodies to descend upon the festivities like Christmas jumper-wearing vultures.
7. There’ll be a Scandinavian lodge-themed lounge
If you're still looking for a Christmas party venue, this is one to keep in mind. Après Ski Scandinavian lodge offers a selection of craft beers and selections from local distilleries, as well as a host of food options from the various market stalls, entertainment from jazz musicians, and a festive panoramic view.
Definitely one to keep in mind when you've left the Christmas party till the very last minute to organise. Find out more about it here.
8. Santy himself will be making an appearance
Of course, the ones who are going to enjoy I BELIEVE most of all are the kids, so Santa Claus will be in attendance. Kids will be able to see St Nick do some storytelling, a little singing, and even get a family photograph taken with him.
We could be extremely corny and say this is going to be a Winter Wonderland in Custom House Quay... but we're better than that.
I BELIEVE will be taking place from November 26 until December 23.
The opening hours are:
Monday- Wednesday: 11am - 8pm
Thursday: 11am - 8pm
Friday: 11am - 8pm
Saturday: 10am - 9pm
Sunday: 11am - 8pm
To find out more about the Christmas market, click here.