Festival of Cheer, a community nonprofit organization which creates cultural traditions and reinvests proceeds from its events into local nonprofits, announced the return of Winter WonderFest for the 2019 holiday season at a new home, Hudson Fields.
From Saturday, Nov. 16, to Friday, Dec. 31, Winter WonderFest’s Field of Christmas Dreams will feature award-winning attractions including the Light Spectacular drive-through experience, Schellville Christmas Village, the VisitDelaware.com Ice Rink, and the Christmas Carnival.
To unveil changes for the festival, the charity will host a kickoff picnic from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, at Hudson Fields. Attendees can experience the festival’s new layout, learn about new sponsorship opportunities, and sign up to volunteer. Details will be shared about new attractions and amenities being offered.
For the 2019 season, sponsors will specifically choose an attraction to present. Organizers hope to raise at least $150,000 through sponsorship to offset WonderFest’s $600,000 operational budget.
Peter Briccotto, event director, said, “An event of this magnitude is not possible without the community’s support. Our title sponsors are remarkably generous; however, we are hopeful that donors of all sizes will rally to support this fundraiser. We think that dozens of additional contributors will jump opportunity to ‘own’ an attraction this year!”
Business and individuals will sponsor each and every display, carnival ride, midway game and more. Already, 65 percent of WonderFest sponsorship opportunities have been claimed.
Festival of Cheer President John Snow said, “The community’s response to relocating this event has been overwhelmingly positive. We are confident that creating a Field of Christmas Dreams will provide our guests with a streamlined experience, enable our charity to expand programming offerings, and decrease our operational expenses.”
Festival of Cheer has celebrated many successes since 2016. The organization privately raised over $350,000 to purchase the VisitDelaware.com Ice Rink to ensure skating remains accessible to the Cape Region, and it has contributed more than $150,000 to community nonprofits. Each season, the festival has increased the number of visitors and ticket revenue. However, operating an event at a premier level which meets patrons’ expectations left organizers in a difficult financial position.
Challenges organizers faced included powering the festival with temporary distribution and generators, remote venue locations without significant drive-by traffic, and limited space to expand revenue-generating attractions.
The relocation of Winter WonderFest became possible thanks to the generosity of the Hudson family. Christian Hudson of Hudson Management said, “Our family enjoyed the magic of Winter WonderFest firsthand. We recognized the difficulty in producing a community event of this magnitude, and wanted to open up our home to ease the operational burden of these dedicated volunteers.”
For more information, to receive sponsorship details, or to sign up to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 302-528-3486.