OCEAN CITY – Ocean City’s 15th annual Winterfest of Lights kicks off 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, with a special opening ceremony and celebration at Northside Park’s Winterfest Village, 127th Street and the bay.
The public is invited to attend the Winterfest opening ceremony, which initiates Ocean City’s dazzling holiday season. Throughout the resort, thousands of twinkling lights will outline hundreds of displays.
This year’s opening ceremony features the Ocean City Elementary School’s "OC Stars" performing holiday song and dance. Then, Mayor Rick Meehan and all of the children will "throw the switch" to light the entire Winterfest Park. Santa will make a surprise entrance and then the Winterfest Express Train will be free for everyone on this opening evening.
Following the ceremony, Winterfest of Lights runs nightly through Jan. 1. Hours of operation are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Visit Northside Park and enjoy a 10-minute train ride through a fantasy land of twinkling lights. The glittering scenes include Santa and his sleigh and eight flying reindeer, fairy tale characters, the 12 days of Christmas, nautical displays and a host of other dancing lights. This year be sure to see the new Ski Jumping Bear display and Toy Soldier Spectacular. Admission to the train ride is just $4 for anyone 12 and over, and children 11 years of age and under are free.
While at Northside Park, visit the Winterfest Village located inside a heated and festively decorated tent for a cup of hot chocolate, browse Yukon Cornelius’ Gift Shop for holiday presents and have your photo taken with Santa. Santa will be on hand to receive your holiday wish lists each and every night until Dec. 23.
On selected Winterfest nights, free musical entertainment has been scheduled at the Winterfest Village.
The following entertainment schedule has been planned. Most entertainment is from 6 to 9 p.m. unless noted otherwise.
Nov. 16: Milford Christmas Carol Band
Nov. 17: Delmarva Chorus
Nov. 21-25: Bob Geresti on piano
Nov. 29, 7 p.m.: Stephen Decatur Middle School 8th Grade Jazz Ensemble
Nov. 30: Pam Miller Band
Dec. 1: Joe Baione "A Prelude to a Jazzy Christmas"
Dec. 7: Destination Harmony Quartet
Dec. 8, 7 p.m.: Taneytown Dance Company
Dec. 9: Holly Lane & David Zipse Duo
Dec. 10, 7 p.m.: Sonspot Ministries
Dec. 11, 7 p.m.: Stephen Decatur Middle School Choral Group
Dec. 15: Kevin Poole
Dec. 16: Overtime
Dec. 17, 6 p.m.: Stephen Decatur Middle School Choral Ensemble
Dec. 18: Berlin Intermediate School
Dec. 19: Randy Lee Ashcraft
Dec. 20: Kevin Poole
Dec. 21: Holly Lane & David Zipse Duo
Dec. 22: Uncle Pete with Kids, "A Children’s Musical Celebration"
Dec: 23 and Dec. 26-28: Frank & Trish Curreri "Mistletoe & Holly"
Dec. 29-30: RED Jazzy Christmas
All entertainment is free and sponsored in part by the Winterfest of Lights Gala Committee.
Also visit the southern end of Ocean City and pass through the Tunnel of Lights at the Inlet Parking Lot, where you will find the beach filled with magical lights. Be sure to see the new beautiful horse and carriage display. Next stop, the Avenue of Trees on Baltimore Ave. from 15th to 32nd streets where festive trees decorate the median.