Blue Light Showcase, Tractor Parade, Jingle Bells Cycle, BuskAid
A host of free one-off events are set to take place at the Winterval festival with the first of many on offer this weekend on Sunday, November 26th as the blue Light Showcase will be on offer from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Waterside carpark in the city. Groups participating include The Irish Coast Guard, Waterford City Fire Service, RNLI, Waterford Marine Search and Rescue, An Garda Sionchana, The Ambulance Service, Irish Red Cross, Order of Malta, South East Mountain Rescue Association, Waterford First Responders, Waterford CRBI and the Civil Defence. All the groups are going to show off different manoeuvres such as the fire service putting out fires and rescuing from the river and other simulated exercises.
There will be sirens and lights of Waterford’s emergency services. These rescue vehicles and the heroes who man them will have a treat for the Winterval visitors by giving families a chance to get up close and hop aboard the rescue trucks, bikes, cars, boats, engines and much more.
On Sunday, December 10th the Winterval Tractor Parade in association with Suir Garages and in aid of Tintean Housing will take to the Quays of Waterford and culminate at the waterside Carpark where kids can peer at a Deere, or aspire to be as classy as a Massey from 6 pm until 7.30 pm. This is a free event but we ask that those who take part in the parade, or who come to watch, make a donation of any value to the homeless charity Tinteán Housing Association.
Next up on December 15th locals and visitors alike are invited to join the Winterval team on their bicycles as they take to the streets from 7.30 pm for the Jingle Bells Cycle beneath the twinkling lights of the City. Participants are encouraged to get out the tinsel, the fairy lights and the Christmas jumpers; this is a short 2km family-friendly cycle route suitable for ages 6+.
On December 22nd BuskAid will fill the streets with music and song with the goal of raising much-needed funds for Tinteán Housing, a Waterford-based homeless charity. BuskAid is Ireland’s city-wide busk for charity in aid of the homeless. Based in Waterford City, it aims to raise funds and awareness for local homelessness charity Tinteán Housing, through music and volunteering. Donation buckets will be all around Winterval on the day. Special guests will appear throughout the day, building into a giant ‘Big Busk’ at the end, followed by an uplifting performance by the High Hopes choir.
Ireland’s Christmas Festival – Winterval in Waterford is filled with festive events and fun until December 23rd 2023 with some of the highlights on offer right up until children return to school in January.
The City is transformed into a land of magical festive entertainment with a festive Fairground and Winterval on Ice, a Gerbola Christmas Circus, A Narnia Christmas Show, the magical Winterval Illuminates light show, a Viking Yule Settlement where you can hark back to how Christmas was celebrated in the Viking City.
You can enjoy the Port of Waterford Eye, the Winterval Mini Express train, Glow Gardens, a virtual ride in Santa’s sleigh, a miniature model Circus showcase and of course, Santa Claus will be ensconced with his elves at the Gingerbread House in the City centre and there is even a gigantic talking postbox at The Apple Market. Plus there is an abundant programme of music and theatre events and live performances on the main stage which is right in the heart of the Winterval Glenveagh Food & Craft Market which features over 100 food and craft producers.
There are over 40 events and over half of those are free – check out the full Winterval Festival programme of events at www.winterval.ie