Santa makes Secret Visits to Waterford ahead of Winterval 2023

By Trevor Darmody, Winterval Co-Director
Santa makes Secret Visits to Waterford ahead of Winterval 2023

Tickets are now on Sale for Santa’s Gingerbread House

Top secret visits have been taking place right under the noses of the people of Waterford as Santa has made preliminary visits to Ireland’s Christmas Festival to ensure his elves are carrying out all of his tip top plans for his candy filled Gingerbread house in the city centre for Winterval.

The elves have been super-duper busy preparing for the confidential check-in’s from the main man and for the official arrival of Santa at the 2023 Winterval festival, which will take place in Waterford for the 11th year this November 17th to December 23rd 2023.

Today (September 3rd 2023) tickets for all the little boys and girls visiting the festival have gone on sale for a visit to Santa Claus at his wonderful Gingerbread House at

Overflowing candy canes, jellytot buttons and icing tops, ‘Santa's Gingerbread House' will land in the heart of Waterford City Centre, right at the top of John Robert’s Square, surrounded by all the other delights and activities that Winterval has to offer. A band of merry elves will lead little ones to the door of Santa's magically sweet cabin and families can enjoy the photo stops along the way.

The all-new ‘Santa Gingerbread House' offers free tickets for adults, and visitors to the main man will each receive a present and printed family photograph.  Santa will host little guests all the way through the festival until December 23rd, 2023.

At Ireland’s Christmas Festival there will be plenty to see and do before you ever head to Santa Claus. The festival organisers are planning another Winterval festival extravaganza with all of the festival’s firm favourites including the Waterford Illuminates light show, Ice Skating, the Winterval Christmas Market, live music gigs and lots more set to dazzle and delight.

Commenting on the festival planning Winterval festival co-director John Grubb says, “Trevor Darmody from the Waterford Academy of Music and Arts and I have been reliving our great Christmas pasts over the entire summer as we meet the fellow festive creators across Ireland and beyond. We have a wonderful, surprising and delightful array of events and activities for all ages in the family and we can’t wait to unveil the full programme of events in the next few weeks too. For now, Santa has given his seal of approval and we are thrilled to say “tickets to see Santa at Winterval are now available.” 

Further details of the 2023 Winterval Festival programme will be revealed over the coming weeks, for now, details on the Santa experience can be viewed and reservations made at

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