WINTERVAL 2021 IRELAND’S LARGEST CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 9 FESTIVE YEARS & ITS BIGGEST PROGRAMME OF EVENTS FOR ALL AGES AT THIS YEAR’S NINETEEN-DAY WINTERVAL
CELEBRATE TOGETHER AT WINTERVAL 2021
Brought to you by Waterford City and County Council
Winterval 2021 returns to Waterford this November and December for its 9th year with its biggest and most festive nineteen-day programme of events for all ages. Ireland’s oldest city of Waterford will be transformed into Ireland’s largest Christmas festival, running from Friday November 19th until Thursday December 23rd. Look forward to a round-trip non-stop journey to a world of Christmas celebration, festive food and craft markets, live music and arts performance, family attractions, seasonal surprises and a plethora of free and ticketed programming for all ages to enjoy. Brought to you by Waterford City and County Council, the theme of Winterval 2021 ‘Celebrate Together’ marks the gathering back together of families, friends and communities and ushers in the re-emergence of large civic events to Ireland.
Speaking with great excitement of this winter’s festival, Festival Co-Director Shell Holden commented “Building upon the wonderfully rich and much-loved 9 year history of Winterval, this year’s world-class festival line-up is bigger and brighter than ever with Ireland’s largest Christmas tree measuring over 50ft tall, over 100 free and ticketed festive activities, shows and surprises and over 130 hours of festive-fun, memory-makers and belly-laughs for all ages to enjoy.”
“This winter we are blending the old and the new, with festival favourites that everyone knows and loves, and a new mix of exciting programming to elevate Winterval to a whole new level.”
“Promoting Christmas values of togetherness, family, joy, thankfulness and wonder, the theme of Winterval 2021 is ‘Celebrate Together’ and bringing Ireland back together again to create magical experiences and lifelong memories for them to cherish all at the heart of Ireland’s oldest city”
Commenting on this year’s Winterval, The Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Kelly says “We are delighted that the magic of Winterval is returning to Waterford once again. This year, more than ever, a festival that celebrates family and togetherness is particularly welcome. Waterford has so much to offer all year round, but Winterval really focuses the spotlight on the magic of the city and county. It’s testament to the great community spirit and the support of local businesses and Waterford City and County Council, that have worked so hard to recreate the wonder of Christmas and bring some festive fun to the streets.”
“The five week programme is jam-packed with over 100 free and ticketed events, so there is guaranteed to be something for the young and the young at heart.”
A joyous celebration of the Christmas season, this year’s Winterval 2021 will showcase an elevated and immersive programme of events including themed Festive City Quarters, new festival destinations and hero events, the brand new Ar Ais Le Cheile Irish living language area for families, the p-awesome Petstival zone filled with doggie delights and pet programming, enhanced festive food and craft markets including delicious global flavours from the very best of Ireland’s street food scene, and entertainment for kids and adults, families friends and furry four-legged friends alike – all happening amongst Ireland’s largest Christmas tree, shining bright right at the heart of Waterford city. Five fun-filled Festive City Quarters, this year’s themed Winterval festival destination areas, will be spread across Waterford city for festival-goers to visit and revisit across the 5 week festival run and include the Continental Christmas Market Quarter (John Roberts Square / Broad Street / Michael’s Street), Elfstival Festival Family Quarter (Arundel Square), The Ever-Greenway Quarter (The Apple Market), Christmas Cultural Quarter (O’Connell Street) and the much-anticipated Winterval Wonder-Events Quarter (The Viking Triangle).
Soak up the Christmas atmosphere and yuletide spirit, browse the European styled christmas craft and food stalls and support local, regional and national producers, makers and creators at the Continental Christmas Market Quarter; Whirl around the colourful Vintage Funfair including the festival’s vintage carousel; Take your family photo with the spectacular and sparkly Largest Christmas Tree in Ireland this winter season. Little and big kids can visit Winterval’s Giant Elf right at the heart of Elfstival Festival Family Quarter and post their special letters to Santa at Winterval’s gigantic Postbox. Santa, and his team of trusty Elves, are making the journey from the North Pole to the wonderful Waterford Winterval this festive season. Prepare to go on a magical journey at VIPSanta at the city’s Old Sorting Office on The Quays – make sure to book in early to avoid disappointment.
Get ready to go green at the stunning and beautiful dressed The Ever-Greenway Quarter at the city’s lively Apple Market; Support local at the weekly Saturday Farmer’s Market here; Dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to kick back to live music at the Apple Market Sunday Sessions celebrating and supporting live artists and musicians. Do not miss the Christmas Cultural Quarter showcasing the creativity, culture and diversity synonymous with Waterford’s vibrant Cultural Quarter; Enjoy delicious food and creative craft offerings from Waterford’s new communities; Grab your friends and gather at the Cultural Quarter for the Eats N Beats weekend, the international street food and music festival within Winterval. Tuck into a smorgasbord of savoury and sweet international dishes, treats and tastes and dance, laugh and enjoy the live performances on the Eats N Beats Live Music and Performance Stage all weekend long!
At this year’s Winterval, we are unveiling a spectacular brand new fun-filled festive area for families set in the city’s historic Viking Triangle, the Winterval Wonder-Events Quarter. Families can look forward to not only visiting this hero-events zone but revisiting this family-friendly quarter every weekend across the 5 week Winterval run and experience the new weekly programming on offer. The Winterval Wonder-Events Quarter is home to the Winterval 2021 hero events including Petstival, Ar Ais Le Cheile, Kids Lab-Land, WAMA-palooza and The Winterval Palace.
Paws Everything and visit the brand new paw-some pet wellness zone Petstival in association with festival charity partner DSPCA and Waterford Animal Welfare. Treat your pooch to a doggie day out where they can take part in some fun, games and test their agility skills with the DSPCA Dog Training Team who will also be there to help with dog training advice. The Customs Dog Unit will be joining us where you can meet some of the real life Doggie Detectives and see the important work they do and how they do it with live demos! Have your dog or new puppy microchipped with a DSPCA Vet who will also be giving advice on any pet health issues. Afterwards treat them to a Puppachino and some FREE Dentalife Dog Treats kindly sponsored by Purina. Those who are looking to add a furry friend to the family, will have the op-paw-tunity to meet dogs who are looking for forever homes in the Waterford Animal Welfare Doggy Adoption Parade. You’ll be barking glad you joined us!
Join us at Ar Ais Le Chéile, Winterval’s new action-packed hero event celebrating Irish as a living language and the wonderful culture and heritage of Waterford’s Gaeltacht na nDéise. Ar Ais le Chéile is presented in conjunction with Waterford City & County Council’s Irish Office, Glór na nGael and Plan Teanga na nDéise. There will be rí-rá agus ruaille buaille with poetry, music, storytelling and rap; trad music and sean-nós singing concerts and sessions and a Pop-Up Gaeltacht or two. Families will get their Gaeilge flowing and have spórt agus spraoi with a busy programme of events from Glór na nGael and there will be plenty Craic agus Comhrá, Cúpla Focal agus Cupán tae throughout the festival to chill out, have a cup of tea, chat and all the craic ‘as Gaeilge’. Enjoy so much more at Ar Ais Le Chéile at the Wonder- Events Marquee, celebrating Irish as a living language.
Discover the exciting world of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Art) at Kids Lab-Land with CALMAST Waterford Institute of Technology’s STEM Engagement centre. Discover the science and engineering of Christmas and unleash your creativity with three fun filled hands-on STEAM workshops. Explore the science of polymers making Santa’s Slime, learn about electricity making your own light-up Christmas card or become an engineer making a moving Christmas scene! Become the ultimate master LEGO builder with Bricks 4 Kidz; At Bricks 4 Kidz, kids will learn the basics of STEM and practice critical thinking, problem-solving and organisational skills – all while making cool LEGO creations!
Dance, drum, jump and join in at WAMA-palooza at Wonder-Events, the family live performance and creative festival within Winterval. Waterford Academy of Music & Arts and TheatreBox host this action-packed 2 day feast for the senses, with performances, art and music workshops as well as lively and energetic shows. Find your rhythm with drumming workshops and showcases, join in on the ukulele interactive ensembles and find your inner Picasso at the art and craft classes so much more.
Bishops Palace Cafe in conjunction with Blackwater Distillery are delighted to bring you The Winter Palace – a week of festive food and drink in the Wonder-Events Marquee at Constitution Square from the 17th to 23rd of December 2021. Admission is priced at €15 per person and will include a festive tipple and a Waterford Blaa filled with Irish Turkey and Ham with Mulled wine and Cranberry Cabbage or a Cheese and Ham Antipasto (vegetarian options also available). To drink choose from a selection of hot and cold cocktails like a warm Barry’s Tea Gin Punch or a Hot Velvet Cap Whiskey and many more. Once inside The Winter Palace you can swoon to Old Time Christmas Songs and Carols and delight in the wonder of the sparkling Christmas Lights and Festive Atmosphere. There will also be an array of other Christmas offerings like Marshmallow Snowmen, Spiced Hot Chocolate and plenty of Speciality Coffee and Winter Warmers to keep the cold outside.
Join the conversation and share your Winterval Festival experiences with #winterval