Ballybricken’s inclusion in Winterval, which features the installation of a live crib on the Green, is likely to lead to a welcome boost in footfall for one of Waterford’s oldest areas in the build-up to Christmas.
Launched on Friday last in the presence of Metropolitan Mayor Eamonn Quinlan and Ballybricken Area Development Trust Eamon Barrett (Altitude Sports), the crib features animals which have been supplied by the Copper Coast Farm.
And if the reactions of pupils from the Holy Family School who attended the opening offers any indication, then the new crib looks like a surefire festive hit for the ‘top of the town’.
The new crib was blessed by Fr Michael Mullins of the Holy Family Church and marks the expansion of the Winterval Festival into Ballybricken, which the Development Trust and local traders are very pleased about.
Following the blessing, the Samaritans Choir performed several Christmas carols, which further enthused the pupils on a chilly Friday afternoon.
In addition to the crib, for the next month the green shall host several of Tramore Amusement Park’s leading attractions (including an ice slide), which will permit the young (and young at heart!) to see our city from a different vantage point.
The crib itself, populated by donkeys, goats and sheep, was built by Tony Jones and his colleagues at the Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) and is sponsored by the Waterford Civic Trust, while the live nativity scene comes courtesy of Theatre Box Academy.
The crib’s backdrop has been provided by Waterford Walls and was also developed in conjunction with the Ballybricken Business Trust Group.
During Winterval, there will be live performances in the crib each Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4pm, with the live crib open on each of those three days between 4pm and 7pm.
Meanwhile, the ‘Grinch/Bad Santa Experience’ can also be enjoyed on the Green, thanks to Children’s Group Link, and offers an off-beat slice of festive fun!
Since his election to Waterford City & County Council, Eamon Quinlan has been most active when it comes to promoting Ballybricken and putting the Green to better use.
The bandstand has been repainted in recent weeks and is now an integral element of the Ballybricken Winterval experience.
“The Trust is delighted that Ballybricken has now come in under the Winterval umbrella, and I hope that local businesses will in turn benefit from the crowds that will certainly come this way now and enjoy the area’s new Christmas experience,” said Mayor Quinlan.
From Billy Burke’s to Kervicks, the Power, Rellis and Mulligans pharmacies, Soundstore, bars such as Alife’s, the Exchange and the Tap, the new café in the Fairview and approximately 50 businesses in total, one hopes all shall benefit from this welcome winter boost.