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As you can see from these rollicking shots from Santa’s little helper, John McGowan, it’s hard to tell who was more excited to see Santa at Burnaby Park on Saturday.

Was it Greystones’ cool-as-a-cucumber kids, or the town’s wide-eyed and clearly excited and delighted parents…?

Either way, it was another fine day out for the town, as that rain headed east, and we got the perfect dry spell yet again to officially launch the start of Greystones’ silly season.

The main attraction, of course, was The Man In Red. There are, of course, many Santa imitators out there, making sure that every kid on the planet has a chance for that magical meeting as they hand over their flowing wish list for under the Christmas tree, but there can be little doubt that Greystones gets the real deal each year.

Actually based in Holyhead for November – where it’s still as cold as the North Pole, just not quite as nippy, or slippy – Santa arrived in his little wanderly wagon, and proceeded to transfix just about every kid in Burnaby Park.

Those kids strong enough to push their way past those wide-eyed adults, of course.

Up to that point, Burnaby Park had been royally entertained by hymns from the Colaiste Chraobh Abhann School Choir, some slapstick comedy from the Greystones Players, a reminder from the Father Ted foursome reminding that ecumenical does matter, and, quite possibly stealing the warm-up show, some choral bliss from the Holyhead Male Voice Choir. Never knew Rod Stewart was actually Welsh.

Big thanks to Greystones 2020 and to Greystones Municipal District office for once again delivering a perfect slice of festive fun, and to all of Santa’s little helpers on the day.

Especially the legendary McGowan lad, who, as always, went far above and beyond the call of duty, and took 3,879 pics of the big day…

You can check out the full gallery of John McGowan’s shots from the day here – hi-res copies are free; just email You can also check out previous years here.