Decorating contest, Winterfest returning to town

By Kitty LeShay - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Nov. 28, 2012
Last year's top prize went to Ed Wood and Regina McCrann for their festively-decorated home on 60 East St. The pair will be guest judges during this year's Holiday House Decorating Contest. Courtesy photos by Barbara Bresnahan. - Contributed Photo

Get into the holiday spirit by joining the annual Holiday House Decorating Contest and Winterfest Parade and festivities. The Stafford Community & Civic Affairs Commission will be sponsoring both, with all house entries accepted by Dec. 16. On the same Sunday at 2 p.m., the Winterfest Parade will begin at Olympic Circle and proceed down Main Street to Stafford Town Hall, where participants will be welcomed by the Madrigal choir and a bonfire. Inside, refreshments will be served and there will be visit by Santa Claus.

Cindy Kabel is the chairperson of the two events. The decorating contest has been going on for many years, but the Winterfest was born from Kabel’s childhood memories of growing up in South Windsor. “My father was a lieutenant in the fire department, and on Christmas Day the fire truck would travel around town giving candy canes to the kids,” she said. “Winterfest is fun for the whole family and costs nothing.”

Barbara Bresnahan, secretary of the CCAC, has been watching Winterfest grow. “It’s amazing how quickly this event has taken off. We never know what to expect when introducing a new idea, but this parade and festivities afterwards were very successful even in its first year. Last year, it grew even larger, and this year excitement is mounting. These last couple of years have seen a wonderful revitalization of Main Street, which makes these events even more exciting and festive,” she said. This year will be the first year businesses on Main Street will be open during the parade.

While the house-decorating contest is a separate event, it contributes to the festive atmosphere of the town during the holiday season. On Dec. 20, the judges will board a bus and travel around town, judging the decorations based on balance, color and creativity. “We invite the winners from last year to join us. People bring their children and we have a wonderful time,” Kabel said.

During this season of giving, the stores on Main Street will be collecting food for the Stafford Food Bank through Dec. 16.  The goal is 500 pounds of food. The Grange is decorating a tree which will be donated.

Visit the Stafford Community and Civic Affairs Commission’s Facebook page for more photos from previous years. Registration information about both the decorating contest and the Winterfest parade can be found there as well.

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