13 November 2023

Winterval 2023 features host of attractions including Port of Waterford Eye

The Winterval festival will officially begin on November 17th at 5 pm with a gigantic Christmas Parade rolling through Waterford city on a 1km route from its Quayside to the top of John Robert’s Square. The parade will see the arrival of Santa Claus in a special and spectacular way where he will travel to the festival’s main stage for the switching on the City’s Christmas lights, marking the beginning of festivities in Ireland’s oldest City.


Santa Claus will roll into Waterford City on Friday, November 17 inside a gigantic festive bauble as part of a Christmas Parade which will culminate at the Winterval Main Stage at the top of John Robert’s Square for the switching on the City’s lights.

At precisely 5 pm on that evening the Waterford centre will transform into a Christmas winter wonderland. The Winterval Parade will depart the City’s Quayside at the Port of Waterford Winterval Eye travelling up through Barronstrand Street into John Roberts Square, continuing through Broad Street and finishing at the top of Michael Street at 5:45 pm.

The parade will feature some of the wonderful delights of the festival including the Gerbola Christmas Circus, the cast of Waterford Panto’s ‘Rapunzel’ and the cast of the Narnia Christmas Show, the Winterval Mini Express Train, visitors from The North Pole, some of the big man’s naughtiest elves and even Mrs Claus.  The City’s Christmas lights will be officially switched on at 6 pm.

Once the lights of Winterval are switched on the City will be transformed into a land of magical festive entertainment with the opening of the City Fairground and Winterval on Ice, the first Christmas Circus show, the first Narnia Christmas Show will commence at Jenkin’s Lane big top, the first Winterval Illuminates light show will begin at Arundel Square from 7 pm, and the Glenveagh Winterval Food & Craft Market will open across the City centre.

The Winterval Festival will take place until December 23rd with plenty to see and do for everyone in the family including:

  • ice rink on the city’s Quayside
  • vintage Ferris wheel at Arundel Square,
  • a vintage carousel in John Robert’s Square,
  • the Port of Waterford Eye and the
  • Winterval mini Express train,
  • the Elf workshops,
  • Polish Christmas,
  • a Gerbola Christmas Circus,
  • Santa’s VR sleigh ride, helter-skelter, helicopter trips with Santa,
  • a fantastical ‘Adventure of Narnia’ show which will be hosted at a mini Big Top in the heart of the City at Jenkin’s Lane and more.

Santa will be taking centre stage at the festival in the city’s heart on Broad Street. He will be ensconced in his candy-filled Gingerbread House in the city centre for Winterval.

The free events on the programme include a gigantic and magical talking postbox, a GLOW garden and a brand new sensory wall, a Viking Elf trail hunt, a Viking Yule Village by Deise Medieval, storytelling sessions, a free music stage, a model circus and fairground exhibition and lots more.

Winterval is supported by Waterford City and County Council and local, national and international businesses; including Bausch + Lomb, Glenveagh Homes, Expressway, City Square Shopping Centre and Port of Waterford as named sponsors of the Port of Waterford Eye.

The full Winterval Festival programme is available to view and book online at www.winterval.ie