OCEAN CITY — Beginning Thursday night, the Town of Ocean City will be a bit brighter, as Winterfest of Lights celebrates its 22nd year illuminating Northside Park.
Named a prestigious Top 100 Event for 2013 by American Bus Association and voted “Maryland’s Finest Holiday Tradition” by Maryland Life Magazine, Winterfest of Lights is a winter paradise for the whole family to enjoy.
The Winterfest Express takes guests on a ride through a mile-long animated wonderland of dazzling lights and spectacular displays, including the Twelve Days of Christmas and additional fairytale favorites. Christmas carols float through the air and throughout the Winterfest Village, which is located inside a festive and heated pavilion.
To celebrate the spirit of the season, visitors can sip hot chocolate from The OC Recreation Boosters Café or browse the Yukon Cornelius Gift Shop for that special stocking stuffer or OC souvenir. In celebration of 50 years of the Boardwalk Tram, guests can take their photo at Winterfest’s very own Instagram photo spot, with a classic Winterfest Express tram car.
Don’t forget to visit Santa with your wish list and meet Mrs. Claus, who makes her first appearance at Winterfest. Whereas Santa is all about giving to others as a sign of appreciation, Mrs. Claus is here to spread her wisdom on staying healthy and lending a helping hand. This iconic couple will be on site to delight adults and kids alike through Dec. 23.
The special opening ceremony, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20, at Northside Park’s Winterfest Village at 127th Street and the bay, is free and open to the public. The ceremony features Ocean City Elementary School’s “OC Stars” performing holiday songs and dance.
In addition, Mayor Rick Meehan will “flip the switch” to light the Christmas tree and officially open the Winterfest of Lights. Even Santa will make a surprise appearance for the opening ceremony, which will feature free rides on the Winterfest Express train for the remainder of the evening.
Adding to the excitement of Winterfest of Lights, the Jingle Bell Run and the New Year’s Eve Fireworks show will both be returning for a third year. The Winterfest of Lights Jingle Bell Run, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 7, is sponsored by the Town of Ocean City’s Recreation and Parks Department and OC TriRunning. The race takes runners through an animated course of dazzling lights and spectacular displays at Northside Park.
The New Year’s Eve celebration, which also takes place at Northside Park, will celebrate the beginning of 2015 with live entertainment, free give-a-ways, fireworks, warm hot chocolate, and the opportunity to ride the Winterfest of Lights.
Winterfest of Lights is located at Northside Park, 125th Street & the Bay. Beginning Nov. 20, the hours of operation will be Sunday-Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $5.00 for those 12 years & older and FREE for those 11 years and younger.