Time to Celebrate the Winter Solstice at Winterval in Waterford.

Unveiling of a gigantic new clock at the Irish Museum of Time and countdown to a Winter Firedance Firework display at Winterval.
By Trevor Darmody, Winterval Co-Director
Time to Celebrate the Winter Solstice at Winterval in Waterford.

A wonderful winter solstice celebration is planned for Waterford City on the evening of December 21st 2022. The collaborative event planned by the Waterford City Arts Office, the Waterford Treasures Irish Museum of Time and Winterval will offer a historic moment, live music and a fireworks display.

The evening will commence at 8pm on the Plaza with a pre-celebration for the winter solstice meanwhile, at 8:15 at the Museum of Time at Greyfriars where a very special new outside clock, named Tempus Fugit (Time Flies) will be unveiled by the Mayor of Waterford Cllr. John O’Leary, horologists David Boles and Colman Curran and a representative of Fáilte Ireland. The clock, which has been designed by artists Eithne Ring and Liam Lavery of Cork and created by Keating Fabrication in Waterford, is an elaborate design featuring wings spanning about six metres; the wings are made up of seven steel dials each. It will chime on the hour and once the sun sets visitors can admire the colourful lighting on the wings and main clock face.


Pictured in the workshop is the brand new outdoor clock ‘Tempus Fugit’ clock which will be unveiled on the Winter Solstice at the Irish Museum of Time with wings spanning 6 metres.

Members of the public are invited to join the occasion where the new clock will be unveiled following a performance from the Thomas Francis Meagher Fife and Drum Band at Greyfriars while on the Plaza, Alan Power & The Aftershocks will perform, with The Mulligans on the Main Stage on O'Connell Street from 8pm to 10pm. Following the unveiling of the clock, once the chimes complete a countdown to the fireworks at 9pm the city will be alight as the Winter Solstice is celebrated.

This is the 2nd year of the Winter Firedance - the award nominated celebration of the December Solstice. There w


ill be great music on the William Vincent Wallace Plaza from 8pm culminating with the spectacular 'Skydance' Fireworks display at 9pm sharp.

Speaking of the new clock and its relevance for the solstice, Director of Waterford Treasures Museum Collection Eamonn McEneaney says: “Over 7,000 years ago our first farmers celebrated the Winter Solstice as a major turning point in the year. It heralded longer days and the beginning of a new cycle of growth. As Ireland’s only Museum of Time, we are delighted to continue to celebrate the Winter Solstice and its significance to timekeeping. The sun has always been tremendously important to the telling of time and for centuries watch- and clock-makers have relied on it to calibrate their timepieces. We would like to thank David Boles, co-founder of the Irish Museum of Time, and Fáilte Ireland, without whose support this sculpture would not have been possible."

Funding for the creation of this imaginative clock has been very generously supported by Fáilte Ireland’s Urban Animation Scheme and by horologist David Boles and has been supported by Waterford City and County Council.

Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals and Events, “Urban animation plays an increasingly important role in transforming and reimagining our public spaces as safe, welcoming and vibrant places to visit. This is important in attracting visitors to our towns and cities and increasing dwell time, to support local tourism and hospitality businesses and jobs. The new clock that is being unveiled on December 21st is part of Fáilte Ireland’s Urban Animation project “City of Lights” in Waterford City, which is due to launch in 2023. Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and this project will bring old tales to life in new, innovative ways, so they can be enjoyed by visitors, as well as the local community.”

In addition to the celebrations on the Quayside, the Winterval festival will remain open late until 9.30pm on the evening of December 21st with lots of surprises on offer on the night. Follow Winterval on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be kept in the loop!

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