Though only in its second year, Winter Wonderfest is a holiday tradition in the making.
“It’s a really fun family event. Anyone who came last year, it’s going to knock your socks off compared to that,” says Alyssa Titus, director of marketing for Schell Brothers, a sponsor of the event. “There are different layers, new features that weren’t there before.”
Organizers say this year’s festivities will be bigger, brighter, cooler. Visitors can drive through Cape Henlopen State Park after dark on a 1.5-mile loop that takes them past spectacular light displays. In the parking lot of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal, there will be midway games, crafts for kids, fire pits, live entertainment, carnival rides and a gigantic snow globe for photo opportunities.
There will be a Christmas Village with 12 miniature houses in the style of a town hall, fire station, stores and more. The Lodge, a heated and enclosed hospitality tent, will serve food and beverages. And there will be a skating rink with real ice.
“It’s a real Christmas-town feel,” Titus says. And, in the giving spirit, the event endeavors to raise $50,000 for nonprofits in Sussex County.
“Our nonprofit was formed to produce community events that were impactful, that drew visitors, that showed off our beach resorts,” says Peter Briccotto, executive producer. “And we want to take the money we’re raising and give it back to the community.”
Last year’s inaugural event was a success, but with more time to plan this year’s Winter Wonderfest, Titus says, “expect to be blown away.”
Winter Wonderfest runs through Dec. 31, 2017.