A winter solstice celebration is planned for Waterford City on the evening of 21 December 2022.
The evening will commence at 8pm on the William Vincent Wallace Plaza, with a pre-celebration for the winter solstice. Meanwhile, at 8.15, at the Museum of Time on Greyfriars Street, a new outside clock named Tempus Fugit (Time Flies) will be unveiled by the Mayor of Waterford, Councillor John O’Leary, horologists David Boles and Colman Curran, and a representative from Fáilte Ireland. The clock, which has been designed by artists Eithne Ring and Liam Lavery of Cork and created by Keating Fabrication in Waterford, features wings, each made up of seven steel dials. It will chime on the hour and, once the sun sets, will feature colourful lighting on the wings and main clock face.
There will be great music on the William Vincent Wallace Plaza from 8pm, culminating in the ‘Skydance’ fireworks display at 9pm.
Speaking of the new clock and its relevance to the solstice, the director of the Waterford Treasures Museum Collection, Eamonn McEneaney, said, “Over 7,000 years ago, our first farmers celebrated the winter solstice as a major turning point in the year. It heralded longer days and the beginning of a new cycle of growth. As Ireland’s only Museum of Time, we are delighted to continue to celebrate the winter solstice and its significance to timekeeping. The sun has always been tremendously important to the telling of time, and for centuries, watch- and clock-makers have relied on it to calibrate their timepieces. We would like to thank David Boles, co-founder of the Irish Museum of Time, and Fáilte Ireland, without whose support this sculpture would not have been possible.”
Ciara Sugrue, Fáilte Ireland’s head of festivals and events, said, “Urban animation plays an increasingly important role in transforming and reimagining our public spaces as safe, welcoming and vibrant places to visit. This is important in attracting visitors to our towns and cities and increasing dwell time, to support local tourism and hospitality businesses and jobs. The new clock that is being unveiled on December 21st is part of Fáilte Ireland’s Urban Animation project, ‘City of Lights’ in Waterford City, which is due to launch in 2023. Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city, and this project will bring old tales to life in new, innovative ways, so they can be enjoyed by visitors, as well as the local community.”