must-visit festivals in waterford

Top Must-Visit Festivals in Waterford Revealed

Discovering the best festivals in Waterford shows how lively the city can be. It’s known for its history and holds many exciting events. From the famous Viking Festival to modern art shows, there’s something for everyone.

The Waterford Harvest Festival is a food lover’s dream from September 8th to 10th. It features cooking shows, talks on eating well, and fun for families. Jenny Flynn will show how to make an amazing Chicken Supreme on September 9th1.

At Tramore Races, you can feel the energy of traditional Irish horse races. If you love art, the Waterford Walls Festival turns the streets into an art gallery. These gatherings showcase the best of Waterford’s culture and are truly special.

Key Takeaways

  • The Waterford Harvest Festival is scheduled from September 8th to 10th, featuring live cookery demonstrations and family-friendly activities1.
  • Waterford’s historical Viking roots are celebrated through engaging festivals that bring the past to life2.
  • Tramore Races provide thrilling traditional Irish horse racing experiences.
  • Artistry abounds at the Waterford Walls Festival, which turns the city into a visually stunning gallery.
  • Waterford’s social calendar offers an appealing mix of food, culture, art, and traditional events.

Introduction to Waterford’s Festival Scene

Waterford hosts a range of festivals that mix tradition, culture, and community spirit. Every event is special, whether it is about food, history, or art. These festivals make the city of Waterford in Ireland truly come alive.

The Unique Charm of Waterford Festivals

The annual festivals in Waterford show the city’s deep pride in its heritage and people. The Harvest Festival and Festival of Food spotlight the area’s farming and food traditions. At the Harvest Festival, they give out thousands of seeds and plants to boost local farming and community involvement. This shows how much Waterford cares about its environment and people3.

Waterford Festival of Food makes sure everyone can join, with special parking and sensory rooms4.

annual festivals in Waterford

Why Waterford? A Gateway to Unforgettable Celebrations

Waterford is the place for unforgettable celebrations. It hosts many popular festivals in Waterford that spotlight different cultures. Culture Night, for instance, lets people explore art and history for free. It includes visits to the Irish Museum of Time and live music at Hanover Street5.

Freestyle Friday and Nature Immersive at Nightfall bring Waterford’s nature and art together in the most creative ways5. During festivals like the Waterford Harvest, the city’s commitment to going green is clear. It has no plastic and uses materials that can be composted3.

Festivals in Waterford are more than just shows; they build a strong sense of community. Whether there’s music on the streets or stories in the quiet, you’re sure to find something you love. It’s a city that knows how to celebrate together.

To sum it up, Waterford’s festivals tell a story of its unique identity. They’re a highlight for festival lovers all over the world.

Waterford Harvest Festival: A Celebration of Local Produce

The Waterford Harvest Festival is a yearly event that highlights local goods. People from all around come to see and taste what’s on offer. It’s a vibrant gathering filled with food experiences and family fun.

Highlights of the Waterford Harvest Festival

The festival shines with Irish foods made by local artisans from 32 different places. You’ll find a range of smoked fish, cured meats, sauces, and more. It’s a feast for the senses that celebrates both old and new culinary traditions6.

Waterford Harvest Festival

Top Culinary Experiences at the Festival

This event is famous for its food, which is prepared by chefs who have won awards. They believe in using fresh, local ingredients to make tasty and sustainable meals. This way, we help our community, and our food is better than what gets shipped from far away7.

Family Activities and Entertainment

The festival has something for everyone, from music and performances to fun areas for kids. It happens every September and is a big part of what makes Waterford lively and helps its economy grow8.

Waterford Viking Festival: Reliving History

The Waterford Viking Festival takes you back in time to explore the city’s Viking past. It’s a chance to step into historical reenactments and join interactive activities. All of this happens around important places like Reginald’s Tower and the Medieval Museum.

Historical Significance and Reenactments

The festival’s heart lies in its reenactments, where the Viking age feels real again. Reginald’s Tower, Ireland’s oldest urban building, makes the setting even more authentic. Overlooking the River Suir, the tower symbolises Waterford’s strong Viking history9. Here, visitors can have fun and learn through thrilling performances that take them back in time.

Waterford Viking Festival

Cultural Exhibits and Workshops

Alongside reenactments, the festival hosts cultural exhibits featuring Viking-age artifacts. These displays draw in both history lovers and families, making the past feel real. Also available are workshops that let attendees get hands-on with Viking crafts and daily activities. Throughout the festival, there are also music events at places like The Reg and Theatre Royal, making for a fun time in July10.

In summary, the Waterford Viking Festival is a highlight in the city’s cultural scene. It celebrates ancient traditions with reenactments and fascinating cultural displays109.

Spraoi International Street Arts Festival

The Spraoi International Street Arts Festival brings Waterford’s creative heart to life. Since 1993, it has made the city streets a vivid stage for all. It welcomes everyone to join in a celebration of modern performance culture for three action-packed days11.

The Creative Spirit of Waterford

Every August, Waterford bursts with energy for the Spraoi International Street Arts Festival. Around 100,000 visit, making it the city’s largest event12. It turns the streets into a bustling theatre for acts worldwide13. This showcases Waterford’s creativity with performers, music, and stunning street art12. The festival is a big platform for Irish artists, helping them show their work globally12.

Spraoi International Street Arts Festival

Must-See Performances and Art Installations

The festival is packed with amazing performances and art everyone should see11. It all starts with a huge parade, drawing 40,000 people, and then fireworks light up the sky13. Guests find displays and activities that spark their creativity. For kids, there’s SprÓg with plenty of fun activities13. Most events are free and open, making this festival a top choice for fun and value12.

“Spraoi International Street Arts Festival continues to foster an environment where creativity and community spirit converge, making it a hallmark event that truly embodies the artistic soul of Waterford.”

Waterford Winterval: A Winter Wonderland

Step into the magical holiday world at Waterford Winterval. It’s filled with festive cheer and fun activities. The event runs from 17th November to 23rd December, making the city sparkle with lights and joy14.

Waterford Winterval

Festive Attractions and Events

The fun starts with the Winterval Parade at 5 p.m., leading to the Christmas lights being switched on at 6 p.m.15. Be amazed by the light shows at Cathedral Square, happening every half hour from 5 to 8 p.m. on selected days14. Look out for the remarkable 2023 Winterval Illuminates Lightshow on a 9-metre-high tower at Arundel Square15.

There’s more to see, with model fairground rides open weekends from 17th November to 15th December, and then daily from 15th to 23rd December15. The heated Gerbola Christmas Circus tent will host thrilling acts throughout the festival15.

Family Fun and Activities

Families will love the variety of fun at Waterford Winterval. There are lots of rides to enjoy like the Winterval Sleigh and the Vintage Ferris Wheel14. For skating fans, Waterford on Ice offers penguin aids for kids and ice marshals for safety15.

A visit to Santa’s Grotto is €17 and includes a photo and present14. The Viking Hotel Waterford has a great deal for a 2-night stay with breakfast for €140 for a family of three. Enjoy your festive break with these offers14.

Waterford Winterval has something for everyone. Come and see the beautiful light displays, enjoy the rides, and celebrate the season in style.

Top Music Festivals in Waterford

Waterford comes alive with its top music festivals, offering something special for everyone who loves music.

Daytripper Festival

The Daytripper Festival is now a key part of Waterford’s festival scene. People flock to it, keen to see both famous and new artists perform. It builds up an amazing environment under the Irish skies.

Located at the heart of Waterford, the festival has many stages, each with its unique music style. The feeling is all about togetherness and fun as visitors dive into a variety of musical sounds.

All Together Now

All Together Now stands out in Waterford’s festival collection. It offers a diverse music selection in an intimate and lively setting. The festival takes place at the stunning Curraghmore Estate.

Here, music is not alone – it comes with art, poetry readings, and amazing food options. This mix ensures there’s lots to enjoy for anyone who comes.

The strong line-up of acts, along with beautiful art and music, means there’s something everyone will love. It’s a place to find new bands and share memorable times with other music fans.

By mixing the vibe of the Daytripper Festival with the mixed appeal of All Together Now, Waterford’s music scene is like a wonderful orchestra – offering a wide range of experiences for every taste16.

Waterford Walls: An Urban Art Extravaganza

Dive into Waterford Walls, Ireland’s biggest open-air gallery. It comes alive in August with temporary street art17. For the past six years, artists from Ireland and beyond have joined this celebration18. Waterford, known as Ireland’s oldest city due to Viking roots, changes into a lively art space each year17.

Waterford Walls Urban Art

Stories Behind the Murals

Every mural at Waterford Walls shares a special story, carefully chosen by Louise Flynn17. This year, seventeen artists, both local and international, added new colours to the city18. Now, over a hundred paintings enrich Waterford, telling its story from the past to today18.

Art Tours and Workshops

Seeing the street art is free, and you can join guided tours to learn about the art’s creative journey17. Workshops give visitors a chance to meet artists and dive deeper into the urban art scene. These hands-on events enhance the festival experience for many, fostering a greater love for city art.

Impact on the Local Community

Waterford Walls does more than make the city beautiful. It also weaves a strong sense of community pride. The festival has helped refresh the city’s buildings with exciting art18. Even though it’s tough to fund each year, with support from artists and volunteers, the festival flourishes18. This commitment has built a lasting, vibrant connection with the locals.

Tramore Races: Traditional Irish Horse Racing

The Tramore Races are much loved and show the heart of Irish horse racing. They began on the beach in 1785 and later moved to Graun Hill in 191119. This event runs for 11 days every year from New Year’s Day to October at Waterford and Tramore Racecourse, offering many exciting experiences on race days19.

The Legacy of Tramore Races

The history and tradition of the Tramore Races are very rich. In 1997, Peter Queally and his team bought the racecourse. They spent €5 million on improvements over nine years19. One special event is the Holden Plant Rentals Chase, which has been part of the New Year’s Day schedule since 199919. Another historic moment is when the track hosted races on the first day of the new millennium. Over 10,000 people came, making it the only European course to race that day. It also was the first to take bets in euros on the second day of the new millennium19. These events show how important and long-loved the Tramore Races are.

Race Day Experiences

The Tramore August Racing Festival, from August 11th to 14th, is a big event. People from everywhere come to enjoy the Irish horse racing traditions20. Each day has a special theme. For example, there’s a Horse Racing Ireland Owners’ evening, a BBQ evening, a style evening, and Dungarvan GAA Ladies Day20. There’s entertainment like The Ducks and live music with a DJ from Thursday to Saturday20. Plus, the Festival Marquee has live bands including Brand New Cadillac and Sleaze and Cheeze on various days20.

traditional Irish horse racing

For a special experience, the Graun Hill Suite offers a corporate-style option. The Festival Marquee has a more relaxed hot buffet. There are also punter packs for €39 each, which include entry, food, drinks, and a racecard20. In the tented food village, you can find Texas BBQ, Indian, Asian, Italian, and more20. These options ensure everyone enjoys the Tramore Races, mixing great racing with fine food and hospitality.

Immersing in Waterford’s Cultural Festivals

Waterford is full of history and community energy, making it a place with many different festivals. The cultural festivals are standout events. They truly show off the area’s art and food skills.

Imagine Arts Festival

The Imagine Arts Festival is a key event, now in its 20th year, on Waterford’s cultural scene21. It gets support from the local council. You’ll find loads of live shows, exhibitions, and interactive stuff to do, plus dance, film, and more21. Music lovers of all kinds are welcome, with classical, modern, and traditional tunes on offer21.

This year, don’t miss singer Aoife Nessa Frances, musician Junior Brother, and rapper Nealo. There’s also workshops for the young ones, like Mini Musos, DJing, and graffiti21. Art lovers will enjoy John Shinnors’s showing and watching the Igbo Community from Waterford dance. Plus, there’s an exhibition called “Diverse Creatives” highlighting art about migration21.

Imagine Arts Festival

West Waterford Festival of Food

The West Waterford Festival of Food is a foodie heaven. It celebrates local food and creativity in cooking. There are fine dining events with top chefs to make your visit special. This festival offers a chance to taste the best food from Waterford.

These events let people dive into Waterford’s art and culinary worlds. This mix of experiences makes Waterford a top spot for art and food lovers alike.

For more on these two festivals, visit the Waterford Council event page. This guide has everything you need for a great time in Waterford, blending culture and food.

Summer Festivals in Waterford

In Waterford, summer really wakes the city up. The Spraoi Festival is a big hit, drawing over 80,000 folks in August6. This year, it’s celebrating its 30th year, showing it’s loved and successful22. There’s also the Bealtaine Living Earth Festival with over 20 free events honouring nature23.

The West Waterford Festival of Food is another gem, running from 10th to 12th June22. Then there’s the Dunmore East Festival of Food, Fish & Fun on 28th and 29th June22. Both offer tasty foods and fun, making summer even brighter.

The Backyard Bioblitz event during Biodiversity Week, from 17th to 26th May, lets you discover nature23. Share what you find online with #BackyardBioblitz. There’s also the chance to win €500 in the Biodiversity Photographer of the Year contest, for pros and amateur photographers23.

The All Together Now Festival, from 29th to 31st July, mixes music and fun activities22. It adds to the colourful summer scene in Waterford. With something for everyone, these festivals make summer unforgettable.

Uncover Hidden Gems: Smaller Festivals in Waterford

In Waterford, there are more than the big festivals to enjoy. There are hidden gems, smaller but just as enchanting. These festivals offer a close look at local culture and creativity.

Waterford Film Festival

The Waterford Film Festival is a big deal for movie lovers. It shows off all kinds of films, like documentaries and experimental ones. This festival is key for both new filmmakers and big names, bringing film fans to Waterford. It adds a modern twist to the city’s history dating back to the Vikings2.

Waterford Craft Beer Festival

The Waterford Craft Beer Festival is great for those who love their beer. It celebrates the craft and skill of local beer makers. With unique brews, it highlights the area’s beer-making past. This festival is a gem, merging great tastes with the city’s creative vibe.

EventHighlightWhy Attend
Waterford Film FestivalCinematic TalentTo celebrate a blend of modern and historical narratives2
Waterford Craft Beer FestivalLocal BrewsExploring crafted flavours while supporting local artisans


As our journey through Waterford’s festivals comes to an end, we see a vibrant community life. The Waterford Winterval and Viking Festival highlight the city’s unique culture. Festivals like these are more than events. They become unforgettable experiences, connecting us deeply with Waterford’s traditions and spirit.

The St. Patrick’s Day Festival, lasting four days, embodies the theme ‘Seize the Déise’24. It shines with community involvement, showcasing pageantry and music. Culture Night, on the other hand, offers live performances and free tours5. It embodies the pulse of Waterford, showing its communal and creative heart.

Festivals like the West Waterford Festival of Food and the Spraoi International Street Arts Festival are rich experiences25. They offer everything from fine food to beautiful art. Waterford’s calendar is full of events that suit many tastes, from history buffs to music lovers. Each festival adds to Waterford’s dynamic reputation, inviting us to come back every year.


What are the must-visit festivals in Waterford?

Waterford is famous for its lively festivals. The top ones include the Waterford Harvest, Viking, Spraoi Street Arts, and Winterval. Each shines a light on local culture, history, and community spirit in a unique way.

What makes the Waterford Harvest Festival special?

At the Waterford Harvest, you’ll find amazing local food, great chefs, and fun for families. Dive into tasty dishes made by top chefs, enjoy live music, and learn about being eco-friendly.

How does the Waterford Viking Festival celebrate history?

The Waterford Viking Festival brings history to life with shows and activities. It takes place at Reginald’s Tower, giving a glimpse into the city’s past. It’s great for families and anyone who loves history.

What can we expect at the Spraoi International Street Arts Festival?

The Spraoi Fest is all about amazing street performances and art. It fills the city with creativity and is truly inspiring. A must-see for anyone who loves unique art and performances.

What attractions does Waterford Winterval offer?

Waterford Winterval is a festive treat, perfect for family fun. It turns the city into a winter wonderland at Christmas. Enjoy joyous activities and a magical atmosphere during the season.

Which music festivals in Waterford are popular?

The Daytripper and All Together Now music festivals are big hits in Waterford. They host live music from top and new artists, creating memorable times for everyone under the Irish sun.

What is Waterford Walls?

Waterford Walls is an amazing display of street art. The festival lets you see beautiful murals around the city and learn their stories. It’s great for art fans and those interested in local culture.

What are the main events at Tramore Races?

Tramore Races celebrates Irish horse racing with thrilling events. It’s known for great race days and its history in Waterford. This makes it a beloved part of the city’s culture.

Which festivals highlight Waterford’s cultural vibrancy?

The Imagine Arts and West Waterford Food Festivals are cultural gems. They spotlight art and food, inviting you to discover the area’s vibrant culture. A great way to experience Waterford’s creativity and taste delights.

What are some summer festivals to explore in Waterford?

In summer, Waterford lights up with great events on the waterfront. Enjoy open-air shows and celebrations as the days grow long and evenings warm. These festivals promise unforgettable fun.

Are there any smaller festivals in Waterford worth visiting?

Yes, don’t miss the Waterford Film and Craft Beer Festivals. They offer unique views into the city’s culture and celebrate movie-making and brewing. A great choice for those seeking a more personal festival experience.

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Healing Spirit festival takes place at Drummany Spirit, Milltown, Cavan, Ireland on the 4rd to 5th August 2024. Our festival is run by our small community group, Drummany Spirit, is family and child friendly and is alcohol and drug free. This boutique festival features a large lineup of live music, plus a large array of holistic events and practices including sweat lodges, yoga classes, movement meditation (ecstatic dance), pranayama/breathwork, meditation; plus alternative healing and therapies, crafts, art, drumming circles and talks by leading authorities on personal and spiritual growth, sustainability, conscious living, and healing.

We are set on beautiful sacred land overlooking Lough Oughter in Cavan. Drummany Spirit is a community group which hosts the festival each year. 2024 is our third year running the festival and it's been a major success so far with new friends from across Ireland and abroad attending. You can see the festival lineup here, see photos from previous years here and you can get tickets here (note: the festival has very limited capacity and is almost sold out) .