Why? Winterfest!

There are so many ways to get in the spirit of the upcoming holidays in Cleveland! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite holiday events around town so that you can get all merry and bright, too!

On Saturday, November 29, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance is putting on Winterfest, presented by Huntington.

Image Source - downtowncleveland.com
Image Source – downtowncleveland.com

This event has a special place in my heart. As a child, my Mom and I would go down to Public Square every year for the lighting ceremony. I can remember my sense of awe and wonder at how beautiful downtown Cleveland looked all lit up for Christmas.

And now Winterfest has grown into an event that runs down Euclid Avenue and encompasses even more of downtown Cleveland, with lots to do for all ages and interests. This year, Playhouse Square is serving as the home base for Winterfest, as Public Square is under construction.

At Playhouse Square, there will be a Holiday Pop Up Shop, with great gift items from local artists and makers; family-friendly entertainment with Popfusion; team mascot appearances; gourmet food trucks; choral music from the Old Stone Church Choir; the Festival of Trees at the Allen Theatre; a photo op with the #thisisCLE sign; and, to top it all off, the lighting ceremony, with accompanying concert and fireworks.

But the fun at Playhouse Square is only part of Winterfest! There will be free horse-drawn carriage rides stepping off from the Cleveland Public Library. Also at CPL, there will be a toy train depot, a performance by the River Valley Ringers hand bell chorus, stories and crafts, live reindeer, ice scuplting, and carols and cookies.

Image Source - downtowncleveland.com
Image Source – downtowncleveland.com

Tower City Center will feature a Toy Soldier & Fairy Godmother Holiday Show at three different times throughout the day at the Grand Staircase, with meet and greets to follow. There will also be the Holiday Express Train Ride, Kringle’s Inventionasium, Bruce the Talking Spruce (a Cleveland classic!), and Chillin’ with Kringle at the Hard Rock Cafe.

5th Street Arcades will feature the Cleveland Bazaar for holiday shopping.

Tri-C Hospitality Management Center will host a free public after party for post-lighting cookies, hot cocoa, and Santa photo ops. There will also be Santa photo ops during the day at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

East Fourth Street will have hot cocoa and marshmallows available all day. Erie Island Coffee Co. is celebrating Charlie Brown Christmas with a 10% discount for anyone sporting Charlie Brown wear. For more adult-like beverages, stop in at Society Lounge, which will also have live Rat-Pack-style holiday tunes or Wonder Bar, which has created an exclusive Cleveland holiday beverage with Cleveland Whiskey. And Crossroads at House of Blues will feature live holiday music in the evening.

Horseshoe Casino will again feature the Holidays at the Higbee display, which hearkens back to Cleveland’s Higbee department store windows of old. The Ritz Carlton will continue their annual Gingerbread House display. And Winterfest kicks off Downtown in December Lolly the Trolley tours as well.

Phew! There is so much to take in with this year’s Winterfest and truly something for everyone! I can’t wait to attend and get in the holiday spirit in a particularly Cleveland way. For more details on times, locations, and everything Winterfest, click here.


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