Yulefest Kilkenny will light up the city’s cobbled streets, historic buildings and scenic slipways in December with a mix of music, arts, food and family festive events.
Kilkenny’s famous Medieval Mile, linking the thirteenth-century St Canice’s Cathedral and the impressive Anglo-Norman castle, will be aglow with Christmas lights, seasonal installations, carousels, carnivals and street entertainment.
The festival will be launched in the courtyard of the castle with a stunning display of medieval flag waving in the Florentine tradition. There will also be a Medieval Mile fun run with the runners being spurred on by medieval cheerleaders.
Other Yulefest highlights include the Christmas Tree Festival in St Canice’s Cathedral where 120 trees, each a work of imagination and art, will create a festive forest.
Stately 200-year-old Butler House will host a Christmas Garden which transforms its walled garden into a winter wonderland at dusk when light installations come to life. Toy soldiers, reindeer, glittering trees, Santa’s sleigh and the frosty winter pond will make for a magical experience.
The city will also be filled with music of every genre.
Vladimir’s Viennese Christmas Gala will see violinist Vladimir Jablokov and his family join tenor Sean Costello, soprano Margaret Keys, a 25-piece orchestra and a 50-piece choir to perform melodies from the Romantic era.
St Mary’s Cathedral will resound with the dulcet tones of the Irish Three Tenors while the Dublin Ukulele Collective will raise the roof of the Medieval Mile Museum with its fun repertoire of classic and modern songs.
There will also be concerts by Hermitage Green, Damian Dempsey, Sean Keane and many more top-class artists.
Local Kilkenny food producers will be in Grace’s Old Castle, and there will be a range of Christmas stalls in the city selling superb gifts including a Made in Kilkenny Christmas pop-up shop where premium Irish craft items will be on sale.
And this year Yulefest Kilkenny is putting the spotlight on sustainability, transforming shop fronts in the city into magical storyboards through the use of recycled materials.
Theatrical gems, light shows, stunt demonstrations, busking competitions, workshops, a global kitchen and more complete the Yulefest Kilkenny fun.
With its cosmopolitan vibe, lively pubs, excellent eateries and warm welcome Kilkenny is undoubtedly the place to be this festive season.