Friday, 15th December 2017
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Christmas time

Being part of the huge crowd that was in Waterford city centre for the annual turning on of the Christmas lights was without a question one of the highlights of the year. Seeing so many people, and particularly young people, infants and children, being part of the whole event made the turning on of the lights an even better occasion than you could possibly imagine.

Each year the Winterval festival just gets better and better and you really have to hand it to the people behind it whose organisational efforts are just second to none.

There in John Robert's Square is the large Carousel and the small carousel for children as well as various cabins for people to shop in as well as the traditional large Christmas tree which makes the square so festive looking. Then down on the quay for the first time this year is the hugely impressive 'Waterford Eye' which with all it's lights looks really wonderful in the night sky.

This year the ice skating rink is in the much more accessble

Waterside car park, previously the old gasworks and will include a smaller rink for the tiny skaters. Dotted in amongst all of this are the usual cabins selling their wares as well as favourite foods for this time of year.

The Apple Market will also be involved in the celebrations making the Winterval festival a truly city centre-wide event. And of course there is the Mall as well. The transformation of the city centre of Waterford is one of the highlights of the year and it is no wonder that it brings in people from all over the island to see one of the best festive occasions that will happen in the country over the Christmas period.

There may be other festivals that have cropped up in the wake of Winterval but none have really captured the imagination of people in the way that Winterval has. Winterval has really taken the ball and run with it and even though it may have many imitators there are none that can really compare.

We are very lucky here in Waterford to have a festival like it - when it comes to festivals we are lucky that throughout the year we have many groups and organisations that come together and really show that Waterford knows how to throw a good party. Of course you have to remember for whom all of this is being done and while it is great that older people have a really good time going from one amusement to another or one cabin to another, the show is really all about the younger people in the audience. It is their delight and enjoyment that is really at the heart of the Winterval festival and it has to be said that out of everyone who goes to the festival it is the youngsters in the crowd who really get the most out of it and for that the team at Winterval deserves a big, big thank you.

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