Winter WonderFEST Aims to Build Traditions, Make Memories in Lewes
Winter WonderFEST gives back.
The non-profit event is in its first year but the future looks bright. Peter Briccotto, executive procuder of Winter WonderFEST, says the planning stages started in November and it hasn’t stopped since.
“We have worked with the state parks on some other, similar events to really study how they did it and found out what we could do different and how we could put our stamp on it here at the Delaware beaches,” Briccotto says.
When the organization reached its fundraising goal in July, the process was full speed ahead. Briccotto says the group has had a very short period of time but the vendors have helped bring it to life.
Organizers say the Light Spectacular is expected to bring thousands of visitors from all over the state and beyond. Light Spectacular was made possible by Brandano Displays, Inc., a light company that entertains spectators all along the East Coast as well as California, Washington state, Texas and the mid-west.
“We began in 1976, and have grown to serve over 2,000 clients in the U.S.,” explains Brandano. “I’ve never seen such wonderful engagement and enthusiasm as you have here. Organizers, volunteers, generous sponsors, even government officials– all coming together to make this a reality. They show great pride in their community.”
During the Light Spectacular, guests will have the opportunity to drive through the grounds of Cape Henlopen State Park under illuminated tunnels and through candy cane lined roads. The park also boasts of decorated Santa Claus’, castles and gingerbread men.
In addition to the Light Spectacular, the Christmas Village, located at the Cape May Lewes Ferry, is full of exciting and thrilling attractions. First and foremost, the Christmas Village boosts of a 70-foot Ferris wheel, carnival rides, live entertainment, a special iRink for skaters, a s’mores fire pit and Santa’s Workshop.
Briccotto says the event wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of its sponsors.
“Delaware State Parks have been extraordinary in getting the Lights Spectacular up and running as well as at the Cape May Lewes Ferry, and Delaware River & Bay Authority bringing the Christmas Village to life,” Briccotto says.
The Light Spectacular, beginning Nov. 19, will run until Jan. 1, Thursdays through Sunday with gates opening at 5 p.m. The Christmas Village will run Fridays and Saturdays, beginning Nov. 25 until Jan. 1.
“We have a very big lofty goal of where we want to be 10 years from now and the presence we’ll have, not just as an event to enjoy, but the ability of us to give money out to the Sussex County non-profits that are so deserving and impact out lives everyday,” Briccotto says.
There will be free parking for everyone visiting the Christmas Village at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal. Online Advance purchase prices for admission to the Light Spectacular are $15 per car (1-7 passengers), $30 per van (8-20 passengers, and $50 per bus).
Winter WonderFEST ticket information and schedules for both the Light Fantastic and the Christmas Village are online at www.wonderfestde.org.