Ocean City’s Winterfest of Lights Experiences Record Weekend
The Winterfest of Lights in Ocean City, Md. has been a tradition for many since 1993 and just this past weekend, organizers saw a record breaking number of attendees.
From Wednesday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 29, the Winterfest of Lights had over 22,000 people attend.
Ocean City Special Event Coordinator, Brenda Mooore, believes the high volume of people could be attributed to the holiday weekend as well as the phenomenal weather Ocean City experienced during that time.
Moore says the holiday light’s display began to stimulate tourism on the slow season and has grown ever since.
“The Town of Ocean City Recreation & Parks started it, it was small, a lot of non-profits donated to have a display there,” Moore said.
Over the years, Moore says the biggest change to the lights display is the move from incandescent bulbs to the LED bulbs. There are more than one million holiday lights that sparkle throughout the park.
“We used to re-bulb every single display, every single year,” Moore said. “With the new LED lights, in the last few years, they haven’t broke.”
Each year, the group slowly replaces the incandescent lights with LED. According to Moore, there’s still a few more incandescent displays out there and you can notice a difference.
Not only does the event have lights, there is also a heated Winterfest Village pavilion, Yukon Cornelius’ gift shop and photos with Santa.
The event kicked off Thursday, Nov. 19 and will run until Sunday, Jan. 3 at Northside Park on 125th St. Bayside.
Admission for adults is $5 and children under 12 are free. The money collected during this event goes solely to running the event including gas for the trams, staff, lighting, refurbishing and buying new displays, and more. The Ocean City Boosters runs the hot chocolate stand and uses the event as one of their many fundraisers.
“We are really about bringing tourism in; as long as the town can cover their budget and keep it going, then that’s a successful event,” Moore said.
Moore mentioned the importance of this event, saying many people have attended every year since it has opened and have taken a picture with Santa each year.
“It’s a tradition!” Moore said.
The event is different each year. The past few years, the Wizard of Oz has been added to the holiday lights display. Each year, displays are moved and although it is the same mile-long track, there are different twists to the event, including musical switch-ups.
The tram will run every few minutes depending on the demand.
Over the past few years, the event has had an little extra something added to it. On New Years Eve, the trams will run past midnight, there will be a DJ inside the tent, giveaways and fireworks at midnight for a celebration the whole family can enjoy.
Sunday – Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.