Winterval is here!

    Pictured to launch this year’s Winterval where Adam Walpole (8) helps decorates Ireland’s largest Christmas tree which measures over 50ft tall and sparkles right at the centre of Waterford city’s Broad Street. Picture: Patrick Browne

    It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas as country’s biggest festive festival kicks off.

    IRELAND’S largest Christmas festival has returned to Waterford and over the next four weeks the streets will be buzzing with a festive spirit that with something to suit people of all ages.

    Winterval, brought to you by Waterford City and County Council, integrates the old with the new, featuring firm festival favourites that everyone knows and loves and a new mix of exciting programming to elevate the event to a whole new level.

    Ireland’s oldest city will be transformed into Ireland’s largest Christmas festival until Thursday, December 23, running over the weekends of November 26-28, December 3-5, December 10-12 and a final week-long run from December 17-23).

    In its efforts to ensure largesse, Ireland’s largest Christmas tree, measuring over 50ft tall, will be in place in the centre of our city, while the festival itself will feature five citywide themed Festive City Quarters, the brand new Ar Ais Le Chéile fun-filled Irish living language area for families, the Petstival zone filled with doggie delights and pet programming, the hands-on Kids Lab-Land STEAM and science hub, festive food and craft markets, live music and arts performance, and a plethora of free and ticketed entertainment for all.

    Of course it’s not all about having a ball, and to promote the Christmas values of togetherness, family and joy, the theme of Winterval 2021 is ‘Celebrate Together’, to marks the reunion of families, friends and communities.

    And for those who make an annual trip to the Christmas markets of Europe but are unable to do so this year, have no fear, as the Continental Christmas Market Quarter is there to give you a flavour of Europe on the streets of Waterford.

    You can also pop along to the Polish Christmas, sample the unique tastes and smells and browse the traditional crafts with Waterford’s famous Polish community. The Cultural Quarter this year welcomes back live music, with the Winterval Stage hosting Shikaka, heavy rock covers from Road Dogs, hip Dave hop reggae from No Roots and more live music from O’Sullivan Band, No Hot Ashes, Midnight Blind, Brand New Cadillac, Dunlovly, Harmania, Francis Long, Understarling and dance performances from Synergy.

    Meanwhile, should you wish to treat yourself and get away from the domestic madness, then Waterford offers a plethora of accommodation options for families, friends and couples ranging from family-run hotels to home-from-home B&Bs and guesthouses, all of which can be found at

    For some inner peace amidst all the madness, we also recommend the Enchanted Garden Winter Light Festival at Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, one of the leading Winter Light Festivals in Ireland and a truly magical experience for all age groups.For full programme, go to:



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