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Fair old time: Siobhan O’Connor with her four-month-old daughter Erin at Waterford Winterval. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Fair old time: Siobhan O’Connor with her four-month-old daughter Erin at Waterford Winterval. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Fair old time: Siobhan O’Connor with her four-month-old daughter Erin at Waterford Winterval. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Move over Lapland, there's a new kid on the block - Waterford Winterval, Ireland's answer to the North Pole.

The country's largest winter festival is in its fifth year and features 32 family events, 18 of which are free.

Combining music and visual magic, it's great to see this city previously ravaged by recession coming to life.

Think German Christmas market meets funfair - mesmerising yet tasteful, and right on our doorstep.

The festival spans the narrow old streets of the city, so it feels like a more authentic wonderland than a one-stop shop.

Winterval runs until December 23. For more information, see www.winterval.ie.

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