September 21, 2023
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Yulefest Kilkenny: All fantastic festive events in city and county this week

The Yulefest Kilkenny Christmas festival returns to celebrate its fourth year. This year Yulefest is showcasing a bumper six-week festival running up until January 6 next.

Last weekend a large crowd gathered to welcome home Kilkenny native and national treasure Mary FitzGerald to launch the festival. An early advocate of re-use from her RTE TV ‘How Do You Do?” days, Mary emphasised the sustainability theme of this year’s Yulefest Kilkenny festival by encouraging re-use, re-wear and the importance of shopping local to communities.

Here is a round-up of the events taking place this week at Yulefest Kilkenny:


Beckett Trilogy
8pm, Thursday, November 28
Watergate Theatre
Tickets from €17

Nothing like a bit of drama at Christmas! Catch Gare St Lazare Ireland’s acclaimed production of Samuel Beckett’s 3 novels, Molloy, Malone Dies & The Unnamable sealed their reputation as premier exponents of Beckett’s work. The Beckett Trilogy played Lincoln Center New York in 2017 and this year marks 20 years since they premiered the show in Kilkenny. Directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett and performed by Conor Lovett.
Visit to book tickets.


Cocktails, Canapes, Curated Christmas Gifts

Butler Gallery 1st Annual Christmas Benefit Party
6.30pm, Friday, November 29
Kilkenny Castle
Tickets from €50

A splendid evening of music, art, cocktails, luxurious and unique gift ideas awaits in the sumptuous surrounds of Kilkenny Castle this Christmas. With works by Barrie Cooke, Bernadette Kiely, Paul Mosse, Blaise Smith and many more well-known artists to be auctioned by Fonsie Mealy.

As well as the auction of important artworks generously donated by many of Ireland’s and Kilkenny’s best-known artists, the Butler Gallery Christmas Benefit Party will also feature French café music from Arreglos and Jazz from the Carole Nelson Trio. Includes Art from Cartoon Saloon, Kevin Cosgrove, Alan Counihan, Paul Doran, Marie Foley, Eithne Jordan, Atsushi Kaga, Nevan Lahart, Theresa Nanigian, Eva O’Leary, Dylan Vaughan, George Vaughan and many more. Visit to view the catalogue of artworks.

Other prizes on the night include tickets to see Ronan Tynan at St. Canice’s Cathedral, tickets to Vladimir’s Viennese Christmas Concert at Lyrath Estate Hotel and a golden ticket for Kilkenny Arts Festival 2020.Tickets for the Butler Gallery Christmas Benefit start at €50 and all ticket options include access to Kilkenny Castle festooned for Christmas, a wine reception with canapés, cocktails and music. This event is a fundraiser to help Butler Gallery to complete Evan’s Home, their new location from Spring 2020.

Visit to book tickets and for further information.



Medieval Mile Run
Kilkenny City
7.30pm, November 29
Entry: €11 (timed) / free (untimed)

The Medieval Mile Run is a one mile dash through the historic streets of Kilkenny city and is already a firm Yulefest Kilkenny festival favourite. It is the perfect active start to Christmas at Yulefest Kilkenny and people are encouraged to  come out to support the participants by cheering from the sidelines. There will be a great atmosphere on the night and we promise to have you home in time to watch The Late Late Toy Show!

This is its third year as part of Yulefest Kilkenny and the evening event continues to attract a myriad of entrants with lots more on the sidelines, cheering and enjoying the festive atmosphere. Runners, joggers, walkers and hand cyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in the event under the Christmas lights on the closed city streets at 7.30pm on Friday 29th November 2019. At the finish line participants and supporters will be greeted with music and refreshments as part of the festivities. There are two options for participants; a chip entry to record time and includes t-shirt, €11 or a free non timed entry, open to everyone, however pre-registration is essential for all entrants.

A key feature of the Yulefest Kilkenny festival is its community connectivity work, the Medieval Mile Run event being a community collaboration; co-ordinated by Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership (KRSP) in collaboration with Kilkenny County Council and Yulefest Kilkenny. The event is supported by the PRL Group, who will be making a donation to the charity Pieta House.

All participants must be registered to take part. Visit for more details.


Festival of Lights

The Square, Castlecomer, Co.Kilkenny
5.30pm, November 29
Public Event:

Join Santa and his helpers as they light the ‘Oh so bright’ Christmas Tree. Join the parade of light, where families will showcase their unique homemade lanterns as they light their way from The Square in Castlecomer to Santa’s Elf Village in the heart of The Castlecomer Discovery Park. Here you can enjoy live music and entertainment accompanied by food and crafts market. Taste the wonderful produce of local food producers and maybe pick up something nice for your loved ones this Christmas.   Visit

Yulefest Kilkenny ReCreate Ireland Workshops

Saturday, November 30
Rothe House (MacDonagh Room), Kilkenny City
Workshop times: 10.30am – 11.20am, 11.40am – 12.30pm
Free workshops. Places limited so pre-booking required.

Our Yulefest Kilkenny ReCreate workshops are family friendly sessions where everyone can get involved and explore reuse sustainable materials. Partnering with over 260 Irish companies ReCreate Ireland divert more than 200 tonnes of materials from landfill each year. Make a Christmas hat, stocking or Christmas card or build the tallest tower from reuse materials. These workshops are facilitated by local artists, providing everyone in attendance an opportunity to discuss sustainability and reuse in their own communities and challenge everyone to be more sustainable this Christmas.  Visit to book your places and for further information.


Castlecomer Discovery Park

Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny
30th November – 1st December

‘Meet the Makers’ in Castlecomer Discovery Park Craft Yard over the weekend and enjoy complimentary hot apple cider and Christmas cookies while you shop and avail of special offers. At the Magical Woodland Santa Experience meet Santa, Mrs.Claus and the Elves in their stunning festive igloos and experience the Magical Winter Wonderland experience located in the Castlecomer Discovery Park.



Yulefest Kilkenny Festive Train

Every Saturday & Sunday in Kilkenny City
From 30th November – 5th January
Free entry
Times and routes to be announced shortly on our website

We are delighted to introduce the Yulefest Kilkenny Festive Train. Running every Saturday and Sunday throughout the festive season from 30th November 2019 to 5th January 2020.  This is a free family engagement activity so sit back, relax and enjoy the lights, sights and sounds of Christmas in our beautiful medieval City. The Yulefest Kilkenny Festive Train is available to the public at no cost, the route and times will be announced very shortly.  Please check the website for updates. Supported by Kilkenny Leader Partnership.
Visit for further information.

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