Winterval to be officially launched tonight!

Winterval to be officially launched tonight!

Ireland’s Christmas Festival will officially open in Waterford City this evening with the turning on of the Christmas lights.

The country’s first Christmas Parade will also be commencing at 5:15 pm in the Viking City.

Santa Claus is, of course, the grand marshal and he will arrive in the City Centre in a gigantic bauble having parked up his sleigh for the duration of this stay in Waterford.

The parade will commence from The Clock Tower on Waterford’s historic quayside and travel up Barronstrand Street into John Robert’s Square where upon reaching the main stage, Santa and his band of merry elves will join the Mayor of Waterford Cllr John O’Leary in officially lighting up the festive season as they switch on the lights at 6 pm.


The festival organisers are expecting 600,000 people to enjoy the Winterval Festival between now and Christmas Eve delivering an economic contribution of €30 million.

"Winterval is a festival which has broken all records and apart from covid impacted years it has grown exponentially each year. This year being the 10th anniversary of the festival there is an extra special programme of events on offer with a different one-off special event taking place each weekend in addition to the ongoing festival programme," Festival Directors, John Grubb and Trevor Darmody, said.

Winterval highlights include a gigantic talking postbox with an elf post-collection show each weekend, magic mirrors and a host of free children’s workshops, a free shadow puppet show plus the magic lights of GLOW in New Street Gardens.

The Winterval Illuminates light show will be on offer every half hour, and the ice rink on the city’s Quayside to the vintage Ferris wheel at Arundel Square, a vintage carousel, the Port of Waterford Eye, the Winterval Mini Express train, a virtual ride in Santa’s sleigh plus a Wizard and Dragon interactive exhibition can all also be enjoyed.


Plus there will be Santa Paws for doggies and the Gerbola Circus will be hosting a festive circus show in their heated Big Top tent each weekend. Santa takes centre stage at the festival in the heart of the city at Santa’s Central Station. There will be live music on stage each weekend in Waterford’s cultural quarter featuring a mix of community and professional acts serving as the backdrop to the Winterval Christmas market set out in a series of wooden chalets through the spine of Ireland’s oldest city and into the cultural quarter. Waterford’s heritage takes a prime position with Déise Medieval hosting a traditional Viking Settlement.

A Winterval by night programme will be offered at The Reg alongside their World Cup fan zone, plus Christmas concerts at the Cathedral and music at Waterford Crystal.

10th birthday one-off special events include Waterford’s newest Comic Convention, a Blue Lights Parade, a Jingle Bells cycling event a sparkling Tractor Parade and BuskAid takes place on December 22nd to raise funds for Tinteán Housing which is the Winterval Festival dedicated charity for 2022. The full Winterval Festival programme is available to view and book online at www.winterval.ie.

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