Yulefest Kilkenny is here - bigger and better than ever

Picture Gallery: Butler House and Italian Flag Wavers

Brian Keyes

Reporter:

Brian Keyes

The late, great Frank Kelly would have had to have found a place for the seven hardy Italian flag wavers who set the tone for a stunning opening weekend of Yulefest Kilkenny.
Florentine by birth, the troupe were trumpeted into Kilkeny castle to an expectant gathering and their performance wowed Santa, his elves and the gathering crowds.
Then it was over to Butler House for the official turning on of the lights, followed by the Medieval Mile Run.
This is the second year of Yulefest, Kilkenny’s month long celebration of Christmas, which aims to attract visitors to enjoy the delights of the medieval capital throughout the month of December.
With a strong focus on family, community and inclusivity, Yulefest has a jam packed programme of events to keep everyone entertained.
Butler House gardens are now transformed into a magical winter wonderland, complete with a skating snowman! Visitors were welcomed by Ciaran Conroy of the Kilkenny Civic Trust and the festival was officially launched by Ann Marie Freyne, Chair of the Yulefest organising committee, and Cathaoirleach David Fitzgerald of Kilkenny Cou nty Council.
Following a competition on KCLR one lucky family, the Maher’s from Graignamanagh were Santa’s special helpers in turning on the lights, and with that Christmas had truly begun!
Another highlight of the evening was a performance by eight year old singing sensation Kate Veale, who gave a beautiful rendition of Fairy Tale of New York, leaving barely a dry eye in the garden.
Visitors and guests had the opportunity to wander through and explore the magic gardens.
Back on the Parade the worlds first Medieval Mile Run got underway at 7pm. The run attracted huge numbers of participants to complete the run from the Castle to the Cathedral and the Parade was buzzing with activity. In keeping with the evenings theme of ‘Fun, Food and Family’ there were artisan food stalls providing seasonal treats and a very special Giant Ferris Wheel, which looked spectacular against the night sky.
The evenings entertainment was capped off with a performance from Kilkenny super band Seo Linn, to the delight of all.
The food market will be open on the Parade for all to enjoy from Thursday to Sunday throughout the month of December. For further details of the many events on offer visit www.yulefestkilkenny.ie