Brace yourself – winterval is coming

Located in the heart of Waterford city, comprising of everything from Christmas markets to ice skating, Winterval will undoubtedly provide Christmas cheer and excitement for all involved. 
This Friday, November 20th, sees Santa arrive to Waterford City in the annual Festive Lights Ceremony which also acts as the official opening of Winterval 2015. 
Although predominantly family orientated, the festival is not exclusively aimed at younger children. Winterval offers an opportune getaway for students looking to capture some Christmas spirit or do some Christmas shopping – for those looking toward a retreat from exams and deadlines, as well as the romantics out there. 
If Santa’s Grotto doesn’t appeal to you, you can spend time ice skating or strolling through the Christmas market, which comprises of 60 log cabins in the heart of Waterford city, selling everything from local and foreign delicacies to hand-crafted Christmas gifts and knitwear. 
The festival will run between November 20th and December 23rd, with the markets opening between 11am and 8pm, ensuring that festivalgoers have plenty of time to explore the stalls and soak in the atmosphere. 
The festivities don’t end there, however. Away from the markets there will be a Vintage Ferris Wheel, a Victorian Carousel and a Winter Wonderland created by Gerard Mullen. The Wonderland will host festive movie screenings, for adults and children alike. Live performances of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ will also take place in the Georgian Theatre Royal.
Although the markets finish at 8pm, the night doesn’t end there. From Thursday to Sunday, The Late Night Winterval Club, which boasts six bars under the one roof, will host several bands and DJs from 10pm into the early hours of the morning. In what is sure to be a night of festive fun, perfect for warming up and winding down after a day of Christmas shopping.
As an added bonus, older visitors will be treated to a special Transformers and Star Wars Exhibition, which coincides with the release of the new Star Wars movie this Christmas.
On December 12th, Nick Roach, an Irish artist involved in the designing of the Transformers franchise will also be present for a unique signing session. So make sure to bring your comic books along!
With exams, essays and deadlines mounting either side of Christmas, students are well advised to take a few days rest and Winterval may just be the perfect opportunity to do so. 
Brace yourself Winterval is coming.