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20th Nov 2019

Waterford’s Winterval Festival kicks off this weekend

Sarah Finnan

Road trip time.

Waterford city will switch to Christmas mode this weekend with the arrival of the  Winterval Festival.

Starting on Saturday 23rd, the fun will start at 4:15pm. Santa will later help the Mayor of Waterford City switch on the lights.

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Running from November 23rd to December 23rd, the month-long event expects to welcome 500,000 visitors.

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Claiming the title of “Ireland’s Christmas capital”, Waterford city will undergo a major transformation and emerge as a magical winter wonderland.

With a mixture of over 60 free and ticketed events every weekend, it’s an ideal festive day out. We know how much I love them so.

What’s on the cards for this year? Glad you asked. There will be a Wizards + Dragons exhibition at Waterford City Hall, not to mention Santa’s Grotto in Choristers Hall.

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Live out all your dancing on ice fantasies at the ice rink on Bolton Street before hopping on down to the Garter Lane Christmas Crafts Fair or the markets and pop-up shops at Arundel Square and Cathedral Square.

I’d also recommend heading straight for the big wheel, otherwise known as the Waterford Eye, to guarantee you get the best views of the city.

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Other standout attractions include the brand-new 3D music and lights show for Winterval Illuminates, running at Cathedral Square, and the Spraoi na Nollag show put on by renowned Irish street theatre company Spraoi.

Wander through the festival or if that’s too mainstream, board the Winterval Express Train or enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh. Sign me up.

Have a look at the website for a full list of events.

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