Christmas will officially arrive in Kilkenny this weekend when the city's lights will be turned on.

This year the launch of the street lighting displays will be a virtual one, along with the start of Yulefest Kilkenny 2020, and can be seen on the festival’s social media channels from the weekend.

Staff members from the city council along with a crew of electricians have been busy in recent weeks getting over two kilometres of lights installed throughout the city, as well as putting up ten Christmas trees.

The energy-efficient LED lighting is set to illuminate the city from this weekend, including new lanterns and festoon lighting on The Parade as well as the up-lighting of trees on the Mayor’s Walk.

The Parade will also host the annual Christmas markets, operating in compliance with social distancing guidelines, while a socially-distanced Santa’s Christmas Village will be set up on the grounds of the Medieval Mile Museum.

There will be a "festival in a van" in the run-up to Christmas, supported by Creative Ireland, and a Christmas at Butler Gallery will include a virtual tour of the Wolfwalkers Exhibition and an online children’s art workshop.

"Although this has been a very difficult year for everyone and Christmas will be very different this year," Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Andrew McGuinness, said, "it is still a time for families and we look forward with hope to all that 2021 will bring.

"I am delighted to see that a virtual Yulefest Kilkenny is going ahead this year as we all need and deserve some Christmas cheer."

He urged everyone to stay safe and stay local and support local businesses over the festive season.