Skip to main content

Winterval 2021: Ireland's Largest Christmas Festival!

Winterval returns to Waterford this Christmas for its 9th year with its biggest and most festive nineteen-day programme of events for all ages. Ireland’s Oldest City, Waterford, will be transformed into Ireland’s Largest Christmas Festival, running from Friday November 19th until Thursday December 23rd.

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. They include the Continental Christmas Market Quarter (John Roberts Square / Broad Street), Elfstival Festival Family Quarter (Arundel Square), The Ever-Greenway Quarter (The Apple Market), Christmas Cultural Quarter (Great George’s Street / O’Connell Street) and the much-anticipated Winterval Wonder-Events Quarter (The Viking Triangle).

What's On? 

Winterval Waterford is officially home to the largest Christmas Tree in Ireland! It’s over 50ft tall and the perfect spot to take some festive snaps!

Visit The Continental Christmas Market in the heart of Waterford city for the centrepiece of Ireland’s largest Christmas festival. Soak up the sparkly Christmas atmosphere and yuletide spirit, browse the many Christmas craft and food stalls and support local, regional and national producers, makers and creators this festive season.

It wouldn't be Christmas in Waterford without the Waterford Eye! The 32 meter high Big Wheel will operate throughout the festival and beyond into early January. This is the perfect way to see Waterford City and the beautiful river Suir from a new height.

Festival favourites, the Golden Gallopers are great entertainment for the young and the young at heart! Take a ride on the authentic vintage carrousel, the perfect way to start your Christmas.

There’s so much more to visit around the city! Not to mention the wonderful events taking place!

Every weekend of Winterval there will be a different themed event in the various festival quarters - here's a selection of what you can expect!



Nov 20th & 21st: 12pm to 5pm

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.

We are also joined by Irish Guide Dogs for the blind at this year’s Petstival.

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.


Ar Ais Le Cheile

Nov 26 – 28th : 12pm to 5pm

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 Plean 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.


Eats N’ Beats at the Christmas Cultural Quarter

Dec 4th & 5th: Market stalls 12pm - 7pm, Live performance and music stage runs: 12pm - 10pm on Sat Dec 4th, 12pm - 8pm on Sun Dec 5th

Tuck into a smorgasbord of savoury and sweet dishes, treats and tastes across the Eats N’ Beats weekend.

Kick back to the live bands, DJs and comedians on the live performance stage on Sat Dec 4th and Sun Dec 5th right at the heart of the Cultural Quarter on O’Connell Street.

Highlights include music from Conor Clancy Band, Richie Hayes, brass band ensembles and choirs, comedy from Totally Wired, magic and street performance from Jack Wise and many more.



Dec 11th & 12th: 12pm – 5pm

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.


The Winter Palace

Dec 17th to 23rd: 4:30 – 9:30pm

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.


For the full line-up and more info on the various things happening around the city, visit!