Eighth annual Winterfest set for Dec. 3

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ellington - posted Wed., Nov. 23, 2011
Santa and Mrs. Claus greet the crowd at the gazebo at last year's Winterfest. Photos courtesy of Fred Bird. - Contributed Photo

Ellington's eighth annual Winterfest is set for Dec. 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. New this year is a different look for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. A new costume was provided by Express Verizon, of Meadowview Plaza in Ellington. Winterfest Chairperson Ellen Karadimas said Express Verizon is also sponsoring a petting zoo for kids which will feature miniature live donkeys.

Also updated is a “much-enhanced” live nativity, presented by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which will be open for drive-through viewing from 7 to 9 p.m., as well as including several special displays within the Maple Street church itself.

“They really said they are trying to go 'all-out,'” Karadimas said. “They're trying to make it more spectacular this year. They're adding a lot to it.”

The Winterfest will kick off with the Holiday Sing-A-Long, presented by the Ellington Singers at Hall Memorial Library, on Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., with refreshments to follow.

The centerpiece of Ellington's Winterfest is the Tree-Lighting Ceremony, which will begin at 4 p.m. at the gazebo on the Town Green and include music and visits from local dignitaries. The North Pole will also send its delegation, including the Clauses.

“Santa and Mrs. Claus will have a new float this year,” Karadimas said.

Ellington Volunteer Fire Department’s much-acclaimed “Torchlight Parade” starts at 5:30 p.m., including holiday-lighted trucks from several towns, as well as the Kloter Trolley.

Other activities taking place will include entertainment and refreshments at Hall Memorial Library, including the return of the “Festival of Trees.”

Free hot chocolate and cookies, courtesy of the Ellington Women’s Club, will be served at the Ellington Senior Center, located in the Church Street plaza, throughout the evening.

Karadimas said that although she hopes the traditional event continues to grow and improve, she hopes it doesn't become too big. “I'm determined to keep it to the Norman Rockwell-ish theme,” she said.

The Ellington Congregational Church will host many activities, beginning with the public viewing of the entries for their Gingerbread House Contest, from noon to 7 p.m. There will also be a new Christmas Carol Sing in the church sanctuary, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. “Family-friendly” dinner fare at the downstairs “Winterfest Café” will be offered from 4 to 6:30 p.m. At 4:55 p.m., the church bells will be pealing, in conjunction with those at St. Luke’s Church.

For more information on Ellington's Winterfest, visit www.ellington-ct.gov.

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