City of Lawrence Kicks Off Winterfest
Writer / Renee Larr
The City of Lawrence is once again in the holiday spirit. The Winterfest holiday wonderland of fun kicked off on November 26 with A Lawrence Christmas, and runs through December 23. Family-friendly events are held at the newly renovated Civic Plaza.
“The space was recently renovated, and I think people are going to find it a really great place for the event,” says Corinne Korn, chief of staff for the City of Lawrence Mayor’s Office. “There will be warming stations around the area for guests to stay warm.”
Except for the first weekend, events occur every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The ever-popular skating rink is back again this year, along with a sensory skate day on December 15 to include children with sensory issues.
There will be live music every Friday and Saturday evening to offer a holiday soundtrack for the event. Artists include Copper Stills, 38th Infantry Division Band, Jennifer Mlott, Freetown Village Singers, Jared Rodriguez, and Tracy and Jimmy.
Santa will make several appearances at this year’s event as well. He’ll be in attendance on November 27, along with two chances for attendees to dine with the beloved world-traveling gift giver. Children can attend Breakfast With Santa on December 3 at Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza, and Brunch With Santa on December 4 at The Garrison. Each Sunday is designated as Family Day and will include family-friendly activities.
Heartland International Film Festival will show movies from December 15 through 18. The Winter Market is back with different vendors each Saturday, and guests can holiday shop. On December 10 the Winter Market will transform into the Mercado Navideño, the Latino Winter Market.
New this year is Pet Day on December 11. It includes an ugly-sweater contest and pet photos with Santa. It’s all about celebrating the holiday season with your beloved animals. Also new this year is the Touch a Truck event on December 18.
“There will be all kinds of police vehicles, fire vehicles, front loaders, snowplows, and really any kinds of city vehicles you might see out on the streets of Lawrence,” Korn says. “There are some other vehicles, but those will remain a surprise.”
The Lawrence Winter Solstice Walk has been reimagined into a Winter Solstice Skate. There will be a crafting opportunity, skating at the ice rink, and s’mores making. Oversized greeting cards will line the median of 56th Street from November 18 through New Year’s Day. Businesses will also be decked out with holiday decor. The community chooses a People’s Choice Award winner.
The Theater at the Fort will also put on performances and screen films throughout Winterfest, including “The Muppet Christmas Carol” and others.
“This year is going to be better than ever and more inclusive to everyone,” Korn says. “We can’t wait for people to come out and celebrate in the newly renovated Civic Plaza for the holiday season.”
For a complete list of dates, events and activities, visit visitlawrenceindiana.com/events/winterfest.