January 1st, 2014.
The second annual Winterval festival, which has been celebrated in Waterford since November 29, has attracted an additional 50% in visitor numbers to the city during the festive period boosting the city’s festive coffers.
According to the organiser’s business to the City since opening in late November has been brisk with crowds also flocking in over the final week in the lead in to the New Year.
Chairperson of Winterval Barry Monaghan said, “The festival has been a huge success this year, the audience reaction to our new events like the Singing Christmas Tree, the Spraoi Street Theatre offering and the Horse Drawn Sleigh has been fantastic. We have carried out a good deal of research during the festival and though this is to be collated fully we know that we have had large numbers of international visitors as well as visitors from all over the country travel to Waterford for Winterval.
We had planned large marketing and PR campaigns and worked very hard to get the good word on Winterval out as far and wide as possible and we know that this has paid off, the showcase of the festival on RTE Nationwide was a huge boost and though we had two days of very bad weather we had many families arrived wrapped up ready to join in the festivities. The free ethos of the festival also contributed to the outstanding success, as did the warm welcome that all visitors received upon arrival.” Barry continued.
The Winterval Festival hosted over 30 events during the festival with 50% of those on offer for free. At least 25 events were open each day of the 30-day festival and again in 2013 the festival has been entirely volunteer driven. More than 500 people have given their time to the Festival with citizens performing many roles on committees as stewards and information and welcome ambassadors for visitors. In addition, many of the locally based businesses provided sponsorship and personnel.
“We would like to thank each and every person who helped make Winterval 2013 a success. We are delighted with the reaction to the second and extended Winterval Festival and its’ success so far demonstrates what can be achieved when members of the community combine their strengths to achieve a common goal. We’re looking forward to building a bigger and brighter 2014 celebration and building on the attractions which were very popular at Winterval; we know this festival is unique; it is part continental Christmas Market, part summer Spraoi festival, part Lapland and set in Ireland’s oldest city, as such; it is unique in a European context. We hope that those who heard about Winterval Waterford and didn’t make it down will be tempted to visit Waterford during its 1100 birthday year.” Concluded Barry Monaghan,
. ENDS – January 1, 2014.
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