CLEVELAND - It's an annual tradition in downtown Cleveland. On Saturday, Nov. 26, the city of Cleveland will host the annual Winterfest presented by Huntington and holiday lighting ceremony on Public Square.
NewsChannel5 is On Your Side in your community and is a proud media sponsor of this year's event, which will feature free horse-drawn carriage rides, pictures with Santa, the Radio Disney Stage Show, food trucks, Winterfest Village, fireworks and much more.
NewsChannel5's Lee Jordan and Chris Flanagan will host the evening's festivities on Public Square beginning at 6 p.m. and culminating with the tree lighting.
If you can't make it downtown on Saturday, no need to worry, NewsChannel5's Tom Livingston and Rich Geyser will be set up with a live broadcast so you can watch the tree lighting ceremony live on your mobile phone or on newsnet5.com from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
"Downtown Cleveland has so much history when it comes to the holidays, and each year Winterfest reignites the wonder of the season right here in Public Square," said Joe Marinucci, president and CEO of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, in a news release. "Clevelanders can ring in the season with old-fashioned Christmas traditions while experiencing new and exciting activities that are both fun and festive for the entire family."
Here's a look at what's in store for this year's celebration:
Winterfest Village: Winterfest Village includes Made in the 216 Pop Up Holiday Shop, featuring locally designed products, and the Cleveland Handmade Market. YELP will host a FREE gift-wrapping station for holiday shoppers who purchase items from the Winterfest Village. Plus, YELP swag will be given away to holiday shoppers. In addition several other retailers and vendors will be on site with crafts and activities.
Winter Wine & Ale Fest: Located at 200 Public Square, adults can enjoy local wine and ales and cuisine from downtown restaurants. Tickets to the Winter Wine & Ale Fest are $50 per person (must be over 21), and include 20 taste tickets and unlimited food from 7-10 p.m. Guests can also bid on silent auction items featuring prizes and merchandise from participating wineries and breweries. Proceeds from the Winter Wine & Ale Fest silent auction and from the evening's festivities will benefit GeneroCITY, the Downtown Homeless Fund, which supports programs and services provided by Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) for the city's homeless population.
Winterfest Public Square Events and Activities:
Saturday, Nov. 26:
1-5 p.m. Horse-drawn carriage rides at 200 Public Square. While you wait for your Winterfest carriage ride, shoot hoops with Cleveland State University Viking Mascot Magnus.
3-5 p.m. Look for appearances from Moondog, the Cavs girls and Scream Team, as well as Sully from the Lake Erie Monsters. In addition the Monsters will present their Splash Tour, which includes face and hair painting.
2-7 p.m. Radio Disney will activate the southwest quadrant of Public Square with activities for the whole family to enjoy. Some of those activities include: Dots-Diva Photo Shoot; Children's Hospital-Move It!; Girl Scouts of NE Ohio snowflake creation station; a Disney Destinations-Muppets National Flyaway contest; and more.
3-6 p.m. MC2 STEM High School Fabrication Lab will give kids a chance to create custom plastic key chains (the "FAB Lab" was also featured at Cleveland's Ingenuity Festival in September); GE Lighting will host a children's coloring activity and LED lighting energy demonstrations
3-7 p.m. Artists from Cleveland Museum of Art's Department of Community Arts will help guests make lanterns from archival tissue paper and recycled posters from Parade the Circle.
3-7 p.m. Chow-down event with Cleveland gourmet food trucks including:
StrEat Mobile Bistro
The Nosh Box
Touch Supper Truck
3-7 p.m. Winterfest Village, featuring Made in the 216, the Cleveland Handmade Market, YELP and more.
The lighting ceremony hosted by NewsChannel 5's Lee Jordan and Chris Flanagan will begin at 6 p.m., with a Glee-style holiday performance by the All-City Musical, students from Cleveland Metropolitan School District's All-City program.
Following the lighting ceremony of Public Square, the official public after-party will occur at the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center on Public Square, which includes treats and a visit from Santa.
Winterfest Partner Events:
In addition to the Winterfest activities taking place on Public Square, families can also enjoy holiday activities from these partner events on Saturday, Nov. 26:
Tower City: Events begin at 10 a.m. and include Kringle's Inventionasium, Holiday Express Train, Bruce the Talking Spruce, the Holiday Showcase at the Grand Staircase
and much more.
Hard Rock Café: Chilling with the Kringle at 11 a.m.
Cleveland Plus Visitors Center: Will be open from noon-5 p.m. with fun activities and information about what's happening during the holiday season
The Historic Arcade: Historic tours with characters from Cleveland's past at 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Pictures with Santa and hot cocoa and face painting from 3-5 p.m.
The Cleveland Police Museum, Special Exhibit: Special exhibit "Artist as Witness" will be on display from 1-6 p.m. This will be the final day for the exhibit.
Cleveland Public Library: Free holiday concert with cookies and hot cocoa at 2 p.m.
Ritz Carlton, Cleveland: The traditional gingerbread house will be on display in the Lobby on level 6 of the hotel for guests to see.
Old Stone Church : Christmas concerts taking place at 4 p.m. and after the fireworks. There will be a special cookie reception at 5 p.m.
Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument: Monument will be open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Santa will be present for photos from noon-6 p.m.
Indians Snow Days at Progressive Field: The Cleveland Indians will transform the ballpark into a winter haven filled with snow tubing, ice skating, food/beverages and much more. Snow Days is open 10 a.m.-10 pm. and runs from November 25 through January 16.
For more information, visit Downtown Cleveland Alliance's Winterfest website: http://www.downtownclevelandalliance.com/events/winterfest.aspx