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Yulefest Kilkenny

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Yulefest Kilkenny Christmas festival is offering a bumper six week festival running from 22nd November 2019 to 6th January 2020. There’s a firm focus on sustainability running throughout the festival programme this year and TV personality, re-use advocate and Kilkenny native Mary FitzGerald officially launching the festival. Yulefest Kilkenny is a curated and 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. 

All ages are invited to enjoy a wide range of free and affordable seasonal events added weekly throughout the Yulefest Kilkenny festival. Focused on families, Christmas catch uppers, day-trippers and festive aficionados, all can customise their Christmas visit at The festival website showcases all events and facilitates online event bookings as necessary so festival goers can create personal, festive itineraries to enjoy at their own pace. As part of this year’s festival over 600 primary school children in Kilkenny took part in reuse workshops, made possible by a creative collaboration between Yulefest Kilkenny, social enterprise ReCreate Ireland and four time Oscar® nominated Kilkenny based animation company Cartoon Saloon. Selected shop fronts in Kilkenny will be transformed into magical storyboards through the end use of the workshop’s recycled materials. The windows will tell a story and passers-by will be encouraged to follow the journey to learn about the city and sustainability in a fun and engaging way.

From the craft side to the dark side, a big hit last year was the appearance of StormTroopers and related characters from Star Wars. Many will be delighted to hear of the return of the Jedi to Yulefest Kilkenny as the 501st Ireland Garrison, an all-volunteer organisation who give up their time to promote interest in Star Wars through attending community events/costumed charity will return to raise funds for charity. Catch them in Kilkenny on 14th & 15th December. 

The festival is brimming with festive mood enhancers, from hotel gardens festooned with toy soldiers, reindeer and light installations to vintage carousels offering nostalgic whirls, to an engaging arts, music and family events social calendar. The festival programme has been designed to appeal and be accessible to all ages, including classical concerts, free craft activities, workshops, festive train rides and sensory sensitive accessible venues.

Expect to see lots of opportunity to engage with the festival right throughout the county as Kilkenny Leader Partnership support the facilitation of additional workshops which further extend the reach of the festival in to the wider county. Also during the festival ReCreate Ireland will be addressing sustainability and accessibility by delivering sensory sensitive activities as part of our sensory friendly events. These sensory workshops are funded by Creative Ireland under the Kilkenny Culture and Creativity Strategy 2018-2022, in partnership with Kilkenny County Council.  Easy to get to and easy to get around, Kilkenny’s walkable shopping streets, casual and award winning dining, seasonal events and festive lights provide the perfect atmospheric backdrop for elfies and selfies.

Yulefest Kilkenny Featured Events: 

  • Star Wars: Young and old will delight in the return of the 501st Ireland Garrison, Ireland’s only Official Star Wars costuming club. 14th & 15th December, free, collection for charity on the day.
Event Start: November 22, 2019 - January 6, 2020
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