Ocean City Today

Annual Light Up Downtown Winter Festival this Saturday

By Kara Hallissey | Nov 16, 2017

(Nov. 17, 2017) Holiday shopping, live music, a tree lighting and visit from Santa are a few of the festivities taking place during the Light Up Downtown Winter Festival, this Saturday from 2-6 p.m.

The free event is presented by the Ocean City Downtown Association and includes crafts and games for children with prizes, vendors, gift drawings and musical entertainment by One Night Stand, all on the Boardwalk from the tram station to the inlet.

“This is a way to kick off the winter season and a fun day on the Boardwalk,” said Mary Ann Mangnello, event promoter for the Ocean City Downtown Association. “The biggest initiative is getting people downtown, excited about seeing the lights and aware things are going on downtown in the winter.”

Look forward to Santa and snowmen inflatable decorations in addition to a huge Christmas tree among a Christmas light stroll down the Boardwalk.

“[It’s] a holiday extravaganza with a special interest on Christmas lights and its themes – much like the Winterfest of Lights,” said Lisa Aydelotte, event coordinator for the Downtown Association. “People should come to support local craft vendors that will be selling their wares.”

Close to 30 vendors will line the Boardwalk selling homemade crafts, jewelry, original oil paintings, soaps, calendars, children’s books, baked goods, embroidered blankets, unique souvenirs, pet items, driftwood art, jellies, wreaths and Christmas decorations.

Free hot chocolate will be offered courtesy of the Harrison Group. There will be other refreshments available for a small fee and a number of activities for children will take place including Christmas decoration making.

In addition, visitors can play carnival games for a nominal fee and win prizes. Cornhole, throwing a ball at bottles and games of chance are a few of the options. There will also be gift drawings from local businesses during the four-hour Christmas extravaganza.

Horse and carriage rides will be available for $10 per person. There will also be a drawing for Julie Albright, a ‘70s-era American Girl Doll, and tickets cost $5.

“Santa will be arriving mid-event on a fire truck, with lights and sirens,” Aydelotte said. “It's the one event where we set up the area to look like Christmas to enhance the lights. The key is to light up more areas in the downtown area with high visibility.”

Visitors can check out a piggy bank display on Dorchester Street, soldiers in the Third Street baseball field, a white marlin and waving snowman display when coming off the Route 50 bridge, elves near the welcome sign and Trimper’s Rides has light displays as well. The Dough Roller on South Division Street is also putting up a display, Aydelotte said.

Mangnello expects many shops in the Inlet Village to open and “The Bar” at the inlet will be open for adult beverages to be purchased during the event.

“We would like to especially thank the Ocean City Development Corporation for their assistance,” Aydelotte said.

Profits from the festival will be used for large light displays in the future. The event is adjacent to the Hugh Cropper Inlet Parking lot, which has free parking during the offseason.

For information, visit downtownassociation.net or call 410-289-1413.

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