Waterford selected as European City of Christmas 2024

The International Jury of the European Capital and City of Christmas 2024 unanimously voted to award the European City of Christmas 2024 title to Waterford City.

Chaired by Danuta Hübner, Member of the European Parliament, the panel congratulated the city for

“the high level of the projects presented, their proposals and the commitment of these cities to the European values of Christmas.”

A number of factors won the judges over, with the panel calling the city “an extraordinary jewel of Christmas harmony and aesthetics”.

They cited the win, saying:

“Waterford represents the ultimate expression of creative culture thanks to the great work done with its illuminations and markets. Just as the streets become the perfect setting when associations, tourists and neighbours come together in a Christmas experience with its own identity.”

In recent years, Waterford has run Winterval, Ireland’s largest Christmas festival, which has attracted an average of 500,000 visitors annually.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Councillor Joe Conway said the city has “a track record to be proud of”.

“Its success stems from several factors which include local authority funding and commitment, strong stakeholder engagement and a festival team that has a flair for bringing the most festive, wonder-filled and engaging events to the streets of Waterford.

Being recognised and awarded such a prestigious title as the European City of Christmas is a wonderful testament to Waterford of Christmases past and how Waterford is best in class when it comes to embracing the magic of Christmas.

The directors of the Winterval Festival, John Grubb and Trevor Darmody are thrilled with the win.

We are delighted to see Waterford awarded the European City of Christmas 2024. The business community, the Winterval festival team and the festival’s volunteers backed by Waterford City and County Council work incredibly hard to deliver a magical Winter wonderland in the city each year, so, it is a real honour and testament to see this accolade come to Waterford and indeed Ireland for the first time for 2024. This award also means that the 2024 festival will be even extra special next year and planning for that is already underway!