The Winterval Festival celebrates 10 years this year and with that special year in mind, the festival organisers have created a series of one-off special birthday events for each weekend between now and Christmas.
Coming up this Sunday, December 4th is the ‘Blue Light Parade’. Waterford’s emergency services, rescue vehicles and the heroes who man them will leave Ballybricken at 3 pm and parade down Patricks Street, down Lady Lane and Catherine Street before heading to Waterside Car Park. As a treat for the Winterval visitors, the emergency service crews will give families a chance to get up close and hop aboard the rescue trucks, bikes, cars, boats, engines and much more. This is a free event but there will be collections made for the fantastic Little Blue Hero’s charity which helps children going through long-term serious medical treatment. The blue lights will be flashing in the Waterside car park till 8 pm.
On Friday, December 9th at 7:30 pm bells will be ringing on Gladstone Street, that is bicycle bells. Join the festive fun as Active Waterford rolls and jingles into the festive season with a gentle city centre novelty cycle. It’s time to get out the tinsel, the fairy lights and the Christmas jumpers for a short 2km family-friendly cycle route suitable for ages 6+. This is a free event and participants must pre-register before 1 pm on Wednesday, December 7th, see Winterval.ie
The Quays of Waterford will light up on Sunday, December 11th at 6 pm as the farming community join forces to illuminate the city with their sparkling tractors and farm machinery. You can peer at a Deere, or aspire to be as classy as a Massey! Come along and enjoy the spectacle that is the Winterval Christmas Tractor Parade. In association with Suir Garages, Passages Cross, Dunmore Road. Waterford
On Thursday the 22nd of December the streets of Waterford will be alive with the sounds of busking. Buskaid is a charity appeal with the goal of raising much need funds for Tinteán Housing, a Waterford-based homeless charity. Donation buckets will be all around Winterval on the day, but you can donate at any time on Winterval.ie
Billed as Ireland’s largest Christmas festival, Winterval in Waterford offers a trail of 38 events with 25 on offer free of charge in addition to the special one-off events to celebrate the festival’s 10th birthday celebrations from November 18th to December 23rd.
Highlights include the Gerbola Christmas Circus, 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 Wizards and Dragons interactive exhibition and even Santa Paws for doggies. Waterford’s heritage takes a prime position with Déise Medieval who will host a traditional Viking Settlement plus Santa’s Central Station is on Broad Street where he is meeting and greeting boys and girls for the entire festival.
In addition, there is an abundant programme of Music and Theatre. Ben Hennessy presents a new Shadow Puppetry Show at the beautiful GLOW Gardens at Winterval on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. At the Apple Market each weekend a free show sponsored by WAMA & Theatrebox, which will engage with young spectators who can take part in the collection of Santa’s posts will be on offer. Join Winterval’s Resident Storyteller Kitty Caboodle for a selection of songs and stories at The Book Centre.
The Winterval Live Stage offers 20 Days of Live Performances during the festival. House of Waterford Crystal is delighted to present its Annual Winter Music Series and there is lots more.
The full Winterval Festival programme is available to view and book online at www.winterval.ie