Unseasonable weather may make it feel nothing like winter this Saturday, but organizers of Chelsea Winter Fest are not complaining.
“The weather will match the spirit at Chelsea Winter Fest: warm,” predicted City Manager Jay Ash, the lead organizer of the second year event. “Our day is shaping up to be a good, old fashioned community celebration, even bigger and better than the great time we all had last year.”
Hundreds are expected to attend Winter Fest and share in the special spirit it is meant to engender for the holidays and the community. With games like Frosty Toss and Snow Shovel Croquet, entertainment featuring the Chelsea High School performance honor society, many holiday musical favorites, and freshly made popcorn and hot chocolate, the 3-6 p.m. event held this year outdoors at the Mary C Burke School Complex on Eastern Avenue is sure to remind attendees that winter is a most wonderful time of the year.
“We’ve added to our event this year, with a moon bounce, and a train ride through Merritt Park that we’re calling the Chelsea Winter Fest Express. What will be the same is that everything is free, thanks to so many community sponsors who have stepped up and given in the spirit of the season,” said a grateful Ash.
Winter Fest attendees can win an impressive array of prizes, like Bruins, Celtics and Disney on Ice tickets, restaurant gift certificates, toy bags and 10 bikes to be raffled off.
“There was such a great spirit last year, we wanted to add to it,” explained Madelyn Garcia, proprietor of Garcia Real Estate and a volunteer at Winter Fest last year.
Garcia and her associates have purchased the 10 bikes to help ensure that the Winter Fest celebration is a big success.
School Committeewoman Rosemarie Carlisle, who is coordinating the raffle table, said it is easy to enter the raffle.
“People are going to get a raffle ticket for just showing up, and can get other tickets for playing games, donating a new toy to our toy drive or just wearing a festive head piece,” said Carlisle. “We’ll be doing a ‘pick-a-prize’ format that will allow people to decide what gifts they’d like to win and put their raffles in those buckets to hopefully be winners.”
Added Council President Leo Robinson, “Even if you don’t win a prize, though, every person will leave with a box of frozen goodies being donated by Muffin Town and a good feeling about celebrating the meaning of the holiday season together.”
Several community organizations will be setting up information tables, and the Winter Fest committee will be collecting toys that will be donated to the Salvation Army as part of the local toy drive. Raffle drawings will take place every hour beginning at 3:45 p.m.
“It’s going to be a fantastic time, thanks to our sponsors, coordinators and volunteers,” said Superintendent of Schools Mary Bourque.
Ash is especially appreciative of Bourque and her staff for helping to coordinate the site activities. Should the weather change, many of the activities will be held indoor in the Burke School.
“But that’s not going to happen,” Ash said optimistically of the weather. “Even if it does, though, we’ll have a great time with each other celebrating the season and our special community.”