Queen of Crafts, Mary FitzGerald, to Launch Yulefest Kilkenny

Yulefest Kilkenny wishes you a Mary Christmas as it launches its six week festival programme

The Yulefest Kilkenny Christmas festival returns to celebrate its fourth year and in 2019 is offering a bumper six week festival running from 22nd November 2019 to 6th January 2020. There’s a firm focus on sustainability running throughout the festival programme this year and TV personality, re-use advocate and Kilkenny native Mary FitzGerald will be officially launching the festival in Kilkenny City on Saturday 23rd November.

Yulefest Kilkenny is a curated and inclusive Christmas festival that welcomes visitors and locals to enjoy and participate in a range of high quality, festive events in Kilkenny City and County throughout the festive season. It has quickly emerged as a go-to Christmas festival for all the family and received a listing in Skyscanner’s Guide to the Best Christmas Festivals in Ireland 2018.

Official switching on of Kilkenny City’s Christmas lights takes place on Saturday evening 23rd November at The Parade, Kilkenny City with Mary FitzGerald and Martin Brett, Mayor of Kilkenny. Expect a festive atmosphere with appearances from Santa Claus, Star Wars characters, Fionn the friendly Irish Wolfhound and mascot for the 3rd Infantry Battalion, singalongs with The Lady Desart Choir & Musical Society and surprise guests.

All ages are invited to enjoy a wide range of free and affordable seasonal events added weekly throughout the Yulefest Kilkenny festival. Focused on families, Christmas catch uppers, day-trippers and festive aficionados, all can customise their Christmas visit at yulefestkilkenny.ie The website showcases all events and facilitates online event bookings as necessary so festival goers can create personal, festive itineraries to enjoy at their own pace.

As part of this year’s festival over 600 primary school children in Kilkenny took part in reuse workshops, made possible by a creative collaboration between Yulefest Kilkenny, social enterprise ReCreate Ireland and four time Oscar® nominated Kilkenny based animation company Cartoon Saloon. Selected shop fronts in Kilkenny will be transformed into magical storyboards through the end use of the workshop’s recycled materials. The windows will tell a story and passers-by will be encouraged to follow the journey to learn about the city and sustainability in a fun and engaging way.

Paula Lawler, Yulefest Kilkenny Festival Director explains the aspiration of the festival. “We have developed Yulefest Kilkenny to be an inclusive and curated festival. At the heart of our programming is inclusiveness, accessibility and fun! Also during the festival ReCreate Ireland will be addressing sustainability and accessibility by delivering sensory sensitive workshops as part of our sensory friendly events. These sensory workshops are funded by Creative Ireland under the Kilkenny Culture and Creativity Strategy 2018-2022, in partnership with Kilkenny County Council. All details can be found on our website yulefestkilkenny.ie. A key feature of our festival is community connectivity work, supporting local business and welcoming a diverse audience; local, regional, national and international, everyone is welcome to participate in the wide range of activities and enjoy what the festive programme in our beautiful city and county has to offer during this special season.”

Mary FitzGerald, former TV presenter and host of RTE TV’s ‘How Do You Do?’ a make and do children’s arts and crafts programme adds: “I am delighted to be returning to my home city to officially launch the Yulefest Kilkenny festival for 2019 and to share the message of reuse through arts and crafts. It is a creative way to explain to children about reusing and recycling and to encourage them to use their imagination. Children are also great teachers in terms of their concern about global environmental issues. I would encourage all children and their parents to make some of their Christmas presents this year such as Christmas cards, wrapping paper and gift tags, homemade chocolate bonbons, biscuits or candles. After the festive season is over, I would ask everyone to re-use and recycle the cards, wrapping paper, boxes the toys and presents came in and all the jars and bottles that accumulate over Christmas. That way you will be playing your small but significant part to help the environment and make 2020 a more sustainable year for all of us. Together we can demonstrate that Christmas can be as simple and as fun as we decide to make it.”