That’s a wrap! The hugely successful 2024 Waterford Festival of Food has come to a triumphant close!


More than 75,000 people attended this year’s Waterford Festival of Food, the largest attendance in its 15 year history

Over 80 food events and activities over three days took centre stage around Dungarvan, wider Waterford.

Waterford Festival of Food 2024 has launched the Irish festival season on a high note! Over three days thousands of festival goers basked in the sunshine by the waterfront in Dungarvan. This is a festival that is deeply proud, confident and celebratory in its own food heritage, and the energetic international and local investment in showcasing this is testament to the community itself. Dungarvan has a lot to talk about!

Positioned firmly as one of Ireland’s largest and longest running community food festivals, the weekend was packed with a hugely diverse and ambitious 2024 programme. More than 80 free and ticketed events took place with an estimated attendance of  more than 75,000 people. This is the largest in its 15 year history. Events centred around the scenic harbour town of Dungarvan which is the main hub for the 3-day festival.  Waterford’s enormously impressive food heritage takes centre stage, with progressive cultural and community events themed around local producers.

Some highlights from the festivals 2024 programme included the town centre based Kitchen Table Talks – where a combination of cookery demos and interviews with multiple globally admired characters from Ireland’s food scene and beyond, took place under the gaze of a striking photography exhibition featuring portrait images of local food producers. The surrounding landscape and farmlands hosted multiple guided taste tours and foraging trails. High profile guest chefs took up day and evening residence in local restaurants adding their creative input to local produce.

With a very firm focus on sustainability and agriculture, visitors were introduced to this via various workshops, tours and pop-up experiences in unusual locations.

Hugely popular family group tours to farms and mountain surrounds took place alongside live cooking demos. The festival’s famous outdoor markets kept all ages very evenly catered for with a variety of fun and appropriately designed attractions.

Of course, Dungarvan herself stole the show with glistening seas, blue skies and multiple family attractions incorporated along the pedestrianised Davitts’ Quay on Saturday 20th.  The grand finale ‘Festival Market’ on Grattan Square on Sunday [21st April] saw tastings, street food, music and creative children’s entertainment.

This festival holds certain themes very dear, these being: connectivity, inclusivity and sustainability.

  • Inclusivity: To this end they put in place measures such as a centralised carpark for those with reduced mobility, accessible toilets (accessiloos), a mobile sensory room for people on the autism spectrum provided by ASD Ireland. a Lámh signed cookery demonstration with Chef Aisling Larkin for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and communication needs, a talk by Niamh Condon -Dining with Dignity about  cooking for people with Dysphagia – difficulty in swallowing food.
  • Sustainability: This theme was evident on both the programme and in how events were organised. A workshop on how to make reusable beeswax wraps for food storage, a wash station for washing out reusable food containers, a free water refill station with reusable cups to be returned once finished with,  a Root to Tip dinner in Dungarvan CourtHouse cooked by vegetarian Chef Conor Spacey, an ‘Unlocking Sustainability’ lunch at Mount Congreve House and Gardens cooked by Chefs Ali Honor and Sean Smith,  a ban on single use plastics and new this year ban on disposable cups at the festival market in partnership with 2GoCups.
  • Connectivity: The festival ran bus tours bringing people to farms and producer food business locations, helping people to connect with and understand food and food businesses from the source.  The connectivity theme was also put in practice at the Kitchen Table Talks, Taste Waterford Talks, the invitation to gather over food and crafts at the markets and by including a sizeable programme of free events which meant there was something at the festival to suit everyone. Community ownership and involvement in the festival is a key factor in its success and longevity.

Commenting on the success of this year’s festival Eunice Power, Festival Director said, “Food is central to our families and communities here in Dungarvan and Waterford. We grow it, we make it, we respect it, we enjoy it, we talk about it and the festival is a wonderful celebration of all that, with plenty of craic thrown in for good measure! I want to thank Waterford City and County Council, our sponsors and volunteers without whom none of it would be possible. I also want to thank the local community who really get onboard and take pride in their festival.”

Waterford Festival of Food is funded by Waterford City and County Council, Waterford Leader Partnership, Failte Ireland, Waterford LEO, and would not be possible without the support of Taste Waterford, OPW, sponsors, friends circle and the community.

For more info see or @waterfordfestivaloffood on Facebook, X, Instagram and Tik Tok


Credit; The Events, Tourism & Communications Agency