Winter Fest Goes on Despite Bad Weather

The spirit of the season was quite evident, even though Chelsea Winter Fest moved indoors this past Saturday.

“As much as I would have loved to be out in the cold and the snow, celebrating our community in the warmth of the Mary C. Burke Complex cafetorium was certainly the way to go,” said City Manager Jay Ash, who coordinated the Chelsea Winter Fest this past Saturday.

“It was much warmer and still as festive,” said City Councillor Leo Robinson, who was one of numerous volunteers who helped more than 400 attendees enjoy games, entertainment, goodies, raffles and being together during the holiday season.

The third annual event was scheduled to return to Washington Park in Prattville after a second year move to the field outside of the Burke Complex.  Washington Park was and is still lit up in lights, including the new pergola, for the event. However, with temperatures predicted to be in the low 20s and snow projected to start at the same time that festivities were set to begin, Ash made the call and inside the party went.

“Big thanks to Superintendent Mary Bourque and her terrific staff for helping us to move everything indoors in what was a wild 48 hours,” said Ash. “We cancelled some stuff, added others, and started decorating Saturday morning, all in advance of welcoming a great crowd for a fun time.”

As the first snow of the season covered Washington Park, jacketless revelers sipped hot chocolate provided by the Salvation Army and Munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts on Everett Avenue. Kids played games like Frosty Toss and Bowling Over Santa. Families paused to watch performances by the Off Broadway dancers and students from the Chelsea High School Tri-M honor society. Pictures were taken with Frosty the Snowman and the Grinch. The toy drive table was full, as were arts and crafts tables staffed by the Chelsea Collaborative and the Chelsea Girls Scouts.

And then there were the raffles.

“Yes, we gave away a lot of great prizes, thanks to our great community supporters,” said Ash.

Among those donating sports tickets, gift certificates, toys and other prizes were:  State Garden, One North of Boston, Market Basket, Chief Brian and Today’s Auto Body Kevin Kyes, Blue Man Group, Kiwanis, Representatives Eugene O’Flaherty and Kathi-Anne Reinstein, Senator Sal DiDomenico, McDonald’s, Docksides, Burger King, Fusion Foods, the Gold Mine, Tedischi’s in Cary Square, the City Café, Plaza Mexico, Madelyn Garcia Real Estate, the Residence Inn, Bella Island, Mystic Brewery, Sabor Especial and Chelsea’s newest business, King of Wings in Cary Square.

On the way out the door, everyone was treated to take home sweets by Muffin Town.

In terms of next year, Ash is already at work thinking about making the event even more special.

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