Who’s ready to kick off the holiday season? Whether you have already started jamming out to your favorite holiday tunes or are preparing to deck your dorm rooms with colorful lights and miniature Christmas trees, what better way to get into the holiday spirit than attending the 35th annual Downtown Cleveland Winterfest 2013?
On Saturday, Nov. 30, Cleveland invites neighboring communities to take part in fun-filled activities in the heart of the city. Starting at 1 p.m., Public Square will be filled with residents and visitors alike in preparation for the huge tree-lighting ceremony among other festivities to start off the holiday season. Sponsored and presented by Huntington National Bank, this much anticipated event is organized by the president and CEO of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Joe Marinucci.
Start off the evening with a free horse-drawn carriage ride that will give you a tour of the city. Shop throughout The Holiday Pop-Up Shop which offers locally made products (arts, crafts, clothing, etc.) that will make the perfect Christmas gifts for family and friends.
Bring along little ones who will enjoy music and games provided by Radio Disney and an a capella show by the teen sister vocal group, Cimorelli. Grab a bite to eat from one of many gourmet food trucks lining Superior and Euclid Avenues. Then, join Mayor Frank Jackson at 6 p.m for the traditional holiday lighting ceremony, complete with a brilliant display of holiday fireworks.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Right after the Holiday Lighting Ceremony, visit Santa Claus at the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center on Euclid Avenue for the start of the Public After-Party. Take pictures with Santa while enjoying free cookies and hot chocolate. And for adults, celebrate the fourth annual Winter Wine & Ale Fest starting at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy tastings from more than 20 local craft breweries and regional wineries in addition to some of Cleveland’s best restaurant cuisines. Proceeds from the event will benefit downtown Cleveland Alliance’s GeneroCITY that funds programs and services DCA provides for the homeless of downtown Cleveland. Tickets run for $60 per person and can be purchased at wwaf2013.eventbrite.com
If you’re still looking for more pre-holiday fun, check out some of the other festivities hosted by surrounding Cleveland neighborhoods on Nov. 30. Journey to 5th Street Arcades for the Cleveland Gift Box holiday market from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy singer/songwriter Tia McGraff and the Old Stone Choir concert performance at the Old Stone Church starting at 4 p.m. Take a ride on the Holiday Express Train Ride and see The Toy Soldier & Fairy Godmother Holiday Show beginning at 10 a.m. at the Tower City Center.
Take in the traditional Gingerbread House Display at the Ritz-Carlton. From, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., have some fun making crafts, reading stories and meeting Comet the Reindeer at the Cleveland Public Library. Head over to East 4th Street for bowling with Santa at The Corner Alley, ice sculpting outside 2043 East 4th or listening to some live jazz at Wonder Bar.
Check out the Festival of Trees displaying dozens of holiday trees at the Cleveland Play House.
There is something for all ages at this year’s Downtown Cleveland Winterfest 2013. Take in the lights, sounds, tastes and memories with family and friends while enjoying an eventful night in the city.
For more information, visit.downtowncleveland.com.