Steam Sunday: the last one until 2023! – 25th September 2022

The last Steam Sunday of the season is here.

The grounds at Oakfield Park include a host of sites to explore, including walled gardens, ponds, lakes, an outdoor playground, a hedge maze, heritage trees and sculptures. Children can make a wish at Oakfield Park’s Faerie tree, while navigating their way through extensive walks and trails.

Weave your way through the park’s gardens along 4.5km of narrow-gauge track on Oakfield Park’s diesel and steam trains, the ‘Duchess of Difflin’ and ‘The Earl of Oakfield.’ The trains operate passenger trips around the grounds, which is a magical way to explore the park’s gardens as the train passes through flower meadows, beautiful woodlands, willow tunnels, oak circles, boardwalks, heritage trees, a wooden causeway and sparkling streams and lakes.

After a day exploring the parklands, visitors can refuel in Buffers Restaurant, which is open alongside park opening hours and is returning with a delicious new menu created with produce from the park’s gardens.

Jobs at The Santa Express

So you want to be an Elf? Santa has asked his Head Elf to form a new squad for Oakfield Park’s Santa Express 2022 and we want you. There are many roles that we need some bright new faces for. Please read through the job descriptions below and select the one(s) you feel you’d be best suited for. You need to be energetic, positive, enthusiastic with a sense of good old Christmas spirit. Performance experience is preferred but not necessary. You will probably do more than one role in your time at the Santa Express and will be trained to do all.

Applicants need to be 15 years old and above with a few roles only suitable to those over 18. The Santa Express Dates are 30th November to the 23rd of December. Weekday shifts start at 4pm and weekends at midday. Preference will be given to those who are available to work 3+ days a week.

Please submit your CV to [email protected] along with your reasons for wanting this role. Closing date for applications is Saturday 16th October. Successful applicants must be available to attend auditions 20th-22nd October & training 25th -27th November.

Job Roles:

The first face customers see. Happy and welcoming with good organisational skills.
Jobs: Greeting and information, ticket scanning, distribution of tickets and tokens, story-telling and communication with platform elves.

Part of a 5 elf team with Santa. Energetic and organised.
Jobs: Keeping Santa’s Grotto magical as well as clean and tiday! Helping customers safely board and disembark the train. Queue management, entertaining families while they wait by leading games, story-telling, running Christmas craft, singing and dancing. Organising and distributing presents for children, helping Santa. Full engagement with families.

Friendly and very organised. Café experience preferred.
Jobs: Running of the van. Making ice-creams & waffles. Selling drinks and snacks, cashing up. Keeping the van clean and tidy and stocked.

Friendly and very organised. Café experience preferred.
Jobs: Preparing and serving hot drinks, keeping the area incredibly clean. Giving information about train times, puppet shows etc.

A new role this year. Responsible and Confident.
Jobs: Running of the toy shop. Selling toys & decorations as well as talking to customers. Restocking and making sure the shop always looks its best.

Responsible and Hardworking.
Jobs: Helping Mrs Claus run the post office which includes helping children write their letters to Santa. Looking after Mrs Claus and running the post office in her absence.

Acting skills required.
Jobs: Story-telling and performing. Entertaining and interacting with families, performing set pieces.

Organised with good communication and performance skills.
Jobs: Getting passengers safely boarded and disembarked from the train. Keeping everything running on time, in charge of the clock and schedule. Cleaning in between trains. Entertaining the boarded passengers and hyping up the energy to get everyone excited to see Santa. Managing late families, ticket confusions, liaising with the Kiosk elf.

CAPTAIN (4-5 days a week. preference for 18+)
Management role. Organised, leadership skills.
Jobs: In control of the team at the Grotto. In charge of assigning daily roles, costumes for all the team, organising breaks, overseeing entire grottos clean routine as well as performing one of the Grotto roles. Making sure all elves are working and all customers are happy. Keeping daily reports of elves performances. Assisting the Head Elf with weekly rotas.

Part of a performance team; theatre experience preferred but not required
Jobs: Performing learned routine puppet show on the hour every hour. You will operate the hand puppets (training provided). Also in charge of keeping puppet theatre clean and tidy, helping seat audiences and support the main actor.

Theatre performance required. Children’s entertainment / Panto experience preferred.
Fun and energetic, confident performer.
Jobs: Performing a pre-scripted show on the hour for 25 mins every hour. (The Puppets will take up 10-15 minutes of this time). You will host the show and engage with the crowd and then perform for the audience along with the puppets this involves getting children to engage with you as well as performing a set piece. Will rehearse with puppeteers and director the week before opening.

Working on The Santa Express was so enjoyable. It is great on my CV and to have Oakfield Park as a referee has really helped me to get placement during my studies. I would recommend it to anyone.

Elf from The Class of 2020

Oakfest 2022: Frequently Asked Questions


• How do I get to Oakfest?
Oakfest takes place at Oakfield Park, Raphoe, County Donegal on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September 20. Please see directions to Oakfield Park on our website.

• Shuttle bus will be available to and from Letterkenny
Coach will leave McCafferty’s Bar Letterkenny and 1.30pm on Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th September. Bus will return from Oakfield Park at 10.30pm. Please confirm your name and how many people you would like to reserve a space for by emailing [email protected]. Bus is €7.50 return per person.

• Is Car Parking available? 
Please note Car parking is available on site. All vehicles to be removed by 10.45pm on Saturday and Sunday.

• Will the gardens be open as normal for non-ticketholders?
No, during ticketed events here in Oakfield Park, tickets must be presented on arrival to enter. The same applies during The Santa Express.

• What time does Oakfest start?
Gates open at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, music begins at 2pm on Saturday and 2.20pm on Sunday.
Gates close at 10.30pm.

• Do I have to print my ticket?
Tickets will be scanned on arrival. Please print in advance or have available to scan from mobile phone. If you leave during the day please ensure your hand is stamped if re-entry is required. Weekend ticket holders will be issued with a wristband.

• Will the train be running at Oakfest?
The train will run on both days. Price is €7 for adults and €5 for children.

• Can I bring food or drink into the event?
No food or drink can be brought into the event. Please be aware that security will search everyone upon entry. There will be a fully licensed bar and food will be available onsite.

• Is there an ATM?
There will not be an ATM onsite. Card payment can be taken at every pay point.

• Are there baby changing facilities onsite?

• Can I bring a chair?
Yes folding chairs are permitted but cannot be used inside tents.

• Can I bring my dog to Oakfest?
No, dogs are not permitted with the exception of assistance dogs.

• Are camping/campervan/caravan facilities available?
Overnight camping is not available at Oakfest, it is a day festival only and all vehicles must be removed by 10.45pm.

• Are there any age limits?
No, there is no age limit and everyone is welcome. Oakfest offers a range of family focused activities over the course of the two days. ID may be requested for bar purchases. Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.

Oakfest will proceed regardless of weather conditions so come prepared!
PLEASE DO NOT BRING: alcohol, glass objects, umbrellas, blades/scissors, razors, any animals, drones, BBQs, fireworks, flares.
Security staff will be present at the event and reserve the right refuse entry and to search bags and confiscate food and drink where appropriate.

All sound and moving or still picture rights including, without limitation, on the Internet, vest exclusively with the organisers of Oakfest at Oakfield Park and any material filmed or recorded at the Event may only be used for the personal, non-profit making enjoyment of amateurs. By entering the venue, Ticket Holders consent to being photographed, filmed or recorded as visitors attending the Event, and consent to the image or recording of them being used in future marketing material for the Event, or their sponsors.