Loulé to celebrate Christmas with energy crisis in mind

Santa is due to arrive in Loulé on Saturday, December 10

Loulé is going to celebrate Christmas with a wide range of events and activities but with “energy sustainability” always in mind due to the ongoing energy crisis blighting Europe.

The announcement has been made by Loulé Council, which guarantees that LED Christmas lights will still be lit up between December 10 and January 6 in Loulé, Quarteira and Almancil as well as in every local parish, but for a reduced amount of time between 6pm and 11.30pm.

“With this measure we are in line with what will happen in several cities throughout the world. We will try to balance dynamising our economy during such an important season as Christmas with the need to promote energy savings,” the council said in a statement to the press.

Meanwhile, Christmas entertainment will begin on Saturday, December 10 at 3pm with the arrival of Santa Claus and the opening of ‘Aldeia dos Sonhos’, a Christmas Village which features everything from an ice rink to a merry-go-round, a Christmas train, Santa’s house, an elves’ village and several stands selling Christmas sweets and treats.

The Christmas Village spans several areas near Cerca do Convento as well as the Dom Afonso III and São Francisco squares. It will be open on weekdays (except for Monday) and Sunday from 2pm to 7.30pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 7.30pm.

Quarteira will also have its own Christmas Plaza which will bring a variety of festive fun to Praça do Mar and Centro Autárquico, including Christmas markets and live dance and music performances.

In Almancil, the emblematic Jardim das Comunidades (Garden of Communities) will turn into Jardim dos Sonhos (Garden of Dreams) and will also offer a wide range of Christmas-related activities.

Both the Christmas Plaza in Quarteira and the Garden of Dreams in Almancil will open on Sunday, December 11, with the arrival of Santa Claus planned for 11am in Quarteira and 3.30pm in Almancil.

One of the “novelties” of this year’s Christmas programme in Loulé will be the return of ‘Feira da Serra’ in its original format at the old Carnaval warehouse near Santo António Convent.

The venue is described as a “welcoming space where nearly 100 exhibitors will be selling handicraft, food and drinks” which are traditional to the Algarve and its inland areas. There will also be live music. Admission is free and doors will be open between 10am and 10pm on Saturday and 2pm and 8pm on Sunday.

Loulé’s municipal library and museum will also be hosting their own activities for children, from the reading of Christmas stories to workshops, while local project Loulé Criativo will host a series of workshops at Palácio Gama Lobo throughout December.

The festive programme will end with a New Year’s concert by Portuguese band Expensive Soul in Quarteira, followed by the traditional unveiling of a 150-metre ‘Bolo-rei’ (a typical Portuguese Christmas cake) at Praça da República on January 6 at 5pm.

Loulé will also encourage people to shop locally by offering shoppers a chance to win vouchers or “dream trips”. Anyone who makes a €10 or higher purchase at one of the participating local businesses will be in for a chance to win.

More information on the Christmas programme can be found online.

By Michael Bruxo

michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com