Yulefest Kilkenny is open and the countdown to Christmas is well underway as Kilkenny hurling legend Jackie Tyrrell and his two sons, Harry and Freddie switched on the Christmas lights with the help of Friday nights ‘Late Late Toy Show’ star Stevie Mulrooney.
They lit up the streets of the marble city as they unveiled new Christmas lighting alongside Santa and Mrs Claus to officially launch Christmas in the city.
Kicking off the annual tradition, Santa arrived by boat to Canal Square, before travelling around the city and finishing on The Parade to switch on the Christmas Lights. Led by volunteers from Cycle Kilkenny, local children and their families cycled into town and met Santa Claus at Canal Square before following Santa, in the Kilkenny City Train, around the city on their bikes.
The event also marked the beginning of the Yulefest Christmas markets. The markets include local food and craft sellers such as Wired Irish Crafts, Biddy’s Good Luck Horse Shoes, The Phat Cow and Cakeface.
Festival Director Marian Flannery said:
“This is Kilkenny County Council’s 8th year of Yulefest and we have so much happening in Kilkenny in the run up to Christmas.
We will have the Medieval Mile Run on December 1st, theSanta Truck in aid of Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice will arrive in the City on the December 9th and we’ll also have our Yulefest outdoor movie night on December 14th so there’s plenty of events for all the family to enjoy and get involved in.”
This year’s festival is jam-packed and each weekend, the Yulefest Bandstand will showcase live music performances covering a range of genres and ages. From local community groups, to rising talent and well-established local performers, free to the public performances take place at 12noon, 2pm and 4pm every Saturday and Sunday until December 23rd. Bands featuring on the Yulefest Bandstand include: The New Brass Kings, Code of Behaviour, Burnchurch, The Pinsetters, Harmania choir among many more. The Yulefest Bandstand is located on The Parade in Kilkenny city, alongside the Yulefest Christmas Market. A great free day out for all the family.
Visitors to Yulefest will also have the opportunity to take part in a musical workshop with acclaimed drummer Jeremy Hickey of R.S.A.G. This Rhythm Makers event will give participants an opportunity to enjoy a fun, relaxing and creatively stimulating drumming workshop. Taking place every Saturday from the 2nd – 23rd of December, on the Parade in Kilkenny city, these workshops will be broken into three age categories allowing all ages to find their space. 12noon is for 5-7 year olds, 1pm caters for 8-12 year olds and 2pm is for adults.
Santa will also be making appearances and hosting festive activities throughout the county during the month of December.
For further information on Yulefest, see https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/