Each year in Ocean City, when the crowds die down and the winter breeze sweeps off the ocean onto the vacant beach, something magical happens. As darkness rolls in and we witness the last breath of sun fade away until the morning light, Ocean City’s Winterfest of Lights illuminates the town.
This year will be the 22nd installment of Winterfest of Lights, arguably one of Ocean City, Maryland’s most popular events. From November 20th–January 4, 2015 people will brave the cold to witness the seemingly magical display of lights. There are over 1 million holiday lights that blend together to tell a story of holiday cheer. Each year it seems that this event gets bigger in one way or another. Whether it’s more lights, or a new edition to the gift shop area, the event seems to expand almost as rapidly as the smiles upon the patrons’ faces.
Winterfest of Lights is an event that everyone must experience at least once, if not more. Out-of-towners tell us how they come down just for Winterfest, and locals devote time each year to making sure they return to the annual festivities. It is a unique experience that has something for everyone to enjoy, especially the kids. Inside the heated, temporary building that houses the loading station you will find Yukon Comelius’ gift shop filled with all sorts of festive goodies. However, it isn’t the holiday trinkets that catch the children’s eye, it is Santa Clause. Santa is also located inside the gift shop for all the kids to take a photograph with and let him know what they want his elves to make them for Christmas.
On those really cold nights you can stop by the drink and snack stand and grab some hot chocolate, hot apple cider, or some cookies and brownies. Because the journey is taken on one of Ocean City Boardwalk’s trams, picking up some hot chocolate to keep the body warm is highly recommended. On that note, dressing in layers is suggested, as well as taking a blanket or two to sit on as the benches are made from metal and tend to be very cold.
If you’re driving into Ocean City during Winterfest of Lights season, you will most likely notice the signs for the event. The illuminated signs that possess the Winterfest logo are very special to the Harrison Group. Ron Smith, a past employee for the Harrison Group, produced the logo that has represented, and continues to represent, the Winterfest of Lights. The above picture is the original artwork made here, in the same office that I type this blog post. It is the same artwork that hundreds of thousands of Winterfest attendants have laid their eyes. It is truly special that this artwork is still being used, and we at the Harrison Group want to thank Ron Smith for his masterful contribution.
Winterfest of Lights is one of those events that words just don’t do it justice. It is something that you truly have to see to appreciate. If you find yourself in town November 20th–January 4th, head to Northside Park on 125th street and witness some true holiday magic. Admission is FREE for children 11 and under, and $5 for guests 12 and older. For more information go here: WINTERFEST OF LIGHTS