July 18, 2024
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Yulefest Kilkenny: All the fantastic festive events in the city and county this week

Yulefest Kilkenny is a bumper six-week inclusive Christmas festival that welcomes visitors and locals to enjoy and participate in a range of high quality, festive events in Kilkenny City and County throughout the festive season.

It has quickly emerged as a go-to Christmas festival for all the family and received a listing in Skyscanner’s Guide to the Best Christmas Festivals in Ireland 2018.

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


Willow Decorations & Candle making
6.30pm, Thursday, December 5
National Design & Craft Gallery
Tickets €35

Get ready for Christmas with this festive hands-on craft workshop in the National Design & Craft Gallery. Make Willow Christmas decorations with Heike Kahle from Baurnafea Willow Works and learn candle making with Larry Kinsella from Moth to a Flame. Perfect for Christmas gifts or for you to treasure for years to come. Workshop participants will do both workshops. Festive drinks and snacks will be served in between the two workshops.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie to book tickets.

Ref: https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/adult-christmas-workshop-willow-decorations-candle-making 


Waterford High Hopes Choir & Carlow Ukulele Players
8pm, Saturday, December 7
Medieval Mile Museum
Tickets from €5

Don’t miss your chance to see a variety of up lifting performances from both musical genres and all for a good cause. A highlight will be the duet of the new single ‘Inextricably Linked’ performed by Waterford husband and wife team Des and Mona Manahan, both aged in their 80s and who have been married for over 50 years. They shot to international fame last year when Mona’s eyesight started to deteriorate and Des began to learn how to apply her makeup, their story went viral, including a link in with the Kardashian’s makeup artist! The Waterford High Hopes Choir also includes people who are or have experienced homelessness and this event doubles as a fundraiser for the Waterford High Hopes Choir. Taking place in the beautiful venue of the Medieval Mile Museum in Kilkenny City.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie to book tickets and for further information.
Ref https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/yulefest-kilkenny-presents-waterford-high-hopes-choir-carlow-ukulele-players/ 


Vladimir’s Viennese Christmas Gala
8pm, Thursday, December 12
Lyrath Estate Hotel
Tickets from €35

Following a sell out concert last year violin sensation Vladmir and the Jablokov family plus guests return to Kilkenny, this time joined by a 25-piece orchestra and 50-piece choir. Listen on as they together with Sean Costello and soprano Margaret Keys add a festive glow to some of the most beautiful classical melodies from the Romantic era. A flurry of seasonal evergreens to get you set for the most wonderful time of the year. Vladimir will perfom alongside his parents, sister and brothers. The Jablokov family will be joined on stage by Vladimir’s hand-picked orchestra, tenor Sean Costello, star soprano Margaret Keys and the amazing Arabella Voices choir. With music from the Strauss Family, Franz Lehar and Christmas songs and carols you know and love, this is the perfect start to the holiday celebrations.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie to book tickets and for further information.
Ref https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/vladimirs-viennese-christmas-gala/



Kilkenny Christmas Tree Festival
St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny City
December 5-10
Entry: Children €2, Adults €3.50

Over 100 trees fill the cathedral, each a work of inspiration and art. The interiors of St Canice’s Cathedral will be transformed into a magical forest of Christmas trees during its Christmas Tree Festival. This project has captured the imaginations of the many local schools, businesses, organisations and individuals who have participated. Christmas trees of varying shapes and sizes, large and small, baked or crocheted, plastic or paper have all been made or decorated by the festival’s participants. Tea, coffee and fruit punch will be served and a stall selling seasonal goodies will be available. Workshops and gingerbread decorating are organised as part of the festival. Tours of the Belfry provide a fantastic opportunity for people to see the Belfry which is usually not part of the visitor’s experience.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie for more details.

Ref https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/kilkenny-christmas-tree-festival/ 


Sensory Sensitive Quiet Time
Various venues, Kilkenny
December 1 – December 31

For some families bright lights and loud music can cause stress and anxiety. At Yulefest Kilkenny, we believe that everyone should have an opportunity to experience and enjoy our beautiful city at Christmas time. This year, thanks to the support of Creative Ireland, Butler House & Garden, Kilkenny Castle, Medieval Mile Museum, Kilkenny on Ice, Nore Valley Park Christmas Experience and the Vintage Carousel, we will turn the lights and music down low when requested, allowing children and their families to experience the atmosphere of Christmas in Kilkenny at a pace and in an environment that is comfortable for them to enjoy.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie

Ref https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/sensory-sensitive-quiet-time/ 


Autism Friendly Santa Experience
Castlecomer Discovery Park
2pm and 4pm, Friday, December 13
Tickets: €25 / €15 / €5

Castlecomer Discovery Park are offering an Autism Friendly Santa Experience once again this year. The lights, the smells, the crowds and all of the things that we love about Christmas can be extremely overwhelming to someone who struggles with sensory input. In recognition of this, they have created a ‘sensory friendly’ option for visitors with autism or sensory processing difficulties. They have scheduled Friday, December 13 at 2pm and 3pm for those wishing to have a more sensory friendly Santa experience. This is not available to book online, please contact them directly by phone on 056 4440707 or email info@discoverypark.ie with your details.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie
Ref https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/sensory-sensitive-quiet-time/ 


The Mayor’s Annual Christmas Concert
The Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny
8pm, Wednesday, December 11
Tickets: Adults €10, U16s €5

Mayor of Kilkenny, Martin Brett presents the Mayor’s Annual Christmas Concert, a jam packed variety night and a great fundraiser for local charities. A show for all ages, this concert will get you into the Christmas Spirit! Come and enjoy the best of local talent and Kilkenny’s rising starts with proceeds going to Cois Nore Cancer Support Centre. Guest performers on the night will include:

    • Patrick Rafter
    • Lady Desert Choir and Musical Society
    • Kevin Dwyer of  Kilkenny Dwyer Family
    • Alize’s School of Singing
    • The Kilkenny Gospel Choir

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie
Ref https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/the-mayors-annual-christmas-concert/


Callan Christmas Festival
Callan, Co.Kilkenny
Saturday, December 7 — Sunday, December 8

Enjoy a weekend of Christmas activities in Callan, Co.Kilkenny.

Saturday 7th:  Storytime with Mrs Claus at 5.30pm, Droichead Family Resource Centre, West Street.
Visit Mrs Claus, enjoy hot Chocolate Marshmallows and treats while Mrs Claus reads her special Christmas story. Each child will be entered into a very special draw where the three lucky winners get to accompany Santa Claus on his sleigh on Sunday 8th. (€2 per child).

Sunday 8th – Christmas Festival and The Big Switch On at 5.30pm sharp, The Cross, Callan:
Join in at The Cross Callan, immerse yourself in the Christmas festivities, enjoy local dance troupe, CMD Dance, Christmas songs from Soulful Spirit Choir, Christmas stalls run by mini companies from local schools. Await the magical arrival of Santa Claus on his sleigh accompanied by his three lucky VIP guests, Santa will even have his own Garda escort. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows or tea/coffee. Watch as Callan’s famous 20ft Christmas tree is lit up and you can rock around the Christmas tree to the sounds of local DJ Brian Phelan, get your face painted, visit the wacky photo corner. Meet and greet with Santa. All proceeds from the festival and raffle go to Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie
Ref https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/callan-christmas-festival/


Free Festive Food Demonstrations with Anne Neary
Sunday, December 8
4pm, MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre, Kilkenny City
Free entry

Friday, December 13
Market Cross Shopping Centre, Kilkenny City
Time TBC, check website for updates
Free entry

Join local celebrity chef Anne Neary for free festive food demonstrations in Kilkenny City during Yulefest Kilkenny.
Anne from Ryeland House Cookery School recently set up Kilkenny Tasting Tours and has been inspiring, entertaining and encouraging all cookery abilities for over 20 years. Get ready to find out how to cook a mouth watering turkey, the best stuffing and delicious gravy as she shares her tips for cooking the perfect traditional Christmas dinner using locally sourced ingredients where possible. Anne’s passion for local, high quality produce and ingredients is legendary.

Plus she will also show how to prepare some tasty meal ideas from any leftovers so nothing goes to waste, supporting the sustainability theme of Yulefest Kilkenny this year.  On the day be in with a chance to win Christmas dinner, the only catch is you have to cook it yourself! Find her recipes on our festival website, keep a close eye on www.yulefestkilkenny.ie for more tasty updates.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie for more details.

Ref https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/free-festive-food-demonstrations-with-anne-neary/


Yulefest Kilkenny ReCreate Ireland Workshops
Free, family friendly, sustainable craft activities each weekend, in the run up to Christmas.

Market Cross Shopping Centre, Kilkenny City
2pm – 4pm: Free Craft Sessions
Saturday, December 7
Saturday,  December 14
Saturday, December 21
Places limited so pre-booking is advised but not essential.

MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre, Kilkenny City
2pm – 4pm: Free Craft Sessions
Sunday, December 8
Sunday, December 15
Sunday, December 22
Places limited so pre-booking is advised but not essential.

Our Yulefest Kilkenny ReCreate Ireland 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 yulefestkilkenny.ie to book your places and for further information.

These workshops are funded by Creative Ireland under the Kilkenny Culture and Creativity Strategy 2018-2022, in partnership with Kilkenny County Council. Supported also by Kilkenny Leader Partnership. 

Ref https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/all-events/ 


Butler House & Christmas Garden
Butler House, Kilkenny City
December 6  – December 31

Butler House is nestled in the heart of Kilkenny City bringing history, charm, romance and a warm welcome to all who visit. Recently added to ‘Ireland’s Blue Book’ listing for 2019, they steal the show for hotel gardens at Christmas time when all their hard work results in a transformation at dusk as their light installations come to life. Young and old will delight at this garden experience, children will love the toy soldiers, reindeer and the frosty winter pond at the heart of the garden complete with the Butler House Express miniature train. Families can take an “Elfie” with friends in Santa’s sleigh or meet the big man himself in his outdoor grotto. The glittering trees will lead you to the Christmas Post Office where you will find Santa has left a magic post-box for all his letters that will go straight to the North Pole. Visit this unique destination in their secluded city walled garden, enjoy festive fare and music and take some time away from the crowds to soak up a magical Christmas atmosphere in the very heart of Kilkenny.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie

Ref: https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/festival-of-light-castlecomer/


Star Wars Characters
Kilkenny City

Saturday, December 14
MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre
12pm – 2pm. Free

Sunday, December 15
10.45am to 11.30am
Santa Run, Kilkenny Castle

Market Cross Shopping Centre
12pm – 2pm. Free

This is a free family engagement event, so don’t miss this opportunity to meet your favourite Star Wars Character! The 501st Ireland Garrison is an all-volunteer organisation who seek to promote interest in Star Wars through attending community events/costumed charity and raising funds for charity.

Celebrating the launch of the new Star Wars Movie, Yulefest Kilkenny are delighted that the 501st Legion Ireland Garrison are returning this year with a mix of the following costumed characters across the two days: An Executioner Stormtrooper, Boba Fett, Jawa, a Biker Scout, a Shadow Scout, a Shadow Trooper, Old Ben Kenobi, Tie Pilots, a Snow Trooper, Stormtroopers and a Sandtrooper. The characters will be visiting MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre on Saturday, December 14 and Market Cross Shopping Centre on Sunday, December 15. They will also be making an appearance at the Santa Run which takes place at Kilkenny Castle on Sunday morning, December 15.

One for all ages to enjoy together!

Check website for updates.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie
Ref https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/star-wars/


James Stephens Army Barracks Christmas Experience
Saturday, December 14
Sunday, December 15
4pm & 6pm.
Tickets €5 (Proceeds go to charity)

This wonderful experience begins with a tour of the James Stephens Army Barracks, starting at the Museum which has an important role in Kilkenny’s heritage. The tour will end with the screening of ‘Silent Night – Christmas Day 1914’ – A re-enactment that took place at the Barracks in 2018 of the commemoration of the truce during the First World War when soldiers from both sides met peacefully to share a fleeting moment of brotherhood.

1st Stop: The Museum – where stories of events of Christmas past will be told (15 mins)

2nd Stop: Detention Barracks – visitors enter a courtyard decorated with lights, then head into the detention centre where the naughty elf is locked up. The history of the detention cells will be recounted. (10 mins)

3rd Stop: The Cobbled Courtyard – here the visitors will get to meet ‘Santa paws’ Fíonn the  Irish Wolfhound and mascot for the 3rd Infantry Battalion at the Barracks. (10mins)

4th Stop: The Officer’s Mess – where visitors will be treated to a hot drink and refreshments while revisiting last years memorable performance of ‘Silent Night – Christmas Day 1914’. (Duration of screening is 20 mins approx).

All proceeds will be going to support the work of The Good Shepherd Centre, Kilkenny.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie for further information.

Ref: https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/james-stephens-army-barracks-christmas-experience/


Yulefest Kilkenny Festive Train
Every Saturday & Sunday in Kilkenny City
Until January 5, 2020
Free entry
Departs Kilkenny Castle at 12pm, check websites for updates yulefestkilkenny.ie

We are delighted to introduce the Yulefest Kilkenny Festive Train. Running every Saturday and Sunday throughout the festive season until January 5, 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, departing from Kilkenny Castle at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm on both Saturdays and Sundays until January 5, 2020. Please check the website for updates. Supported by Kilkenny Leader Partnership.

Visit yulefestkilkenny.ie for further information.

Ref: https://yulefestkilkenny.ie/event/free-yulefest-kilkenny-festive-train/



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