At the Southern Delaware Tourism Awards Luncheon Dec. 6, Winter WonderFest was named Best New Event in Southern Delaware.
"It starts with a visit," said Scott Thomas, host and executive director of the tourism organization. He noted that tourism in Sussex County generates $1.7 billion in annual revenue and supports over 18,000 jobs within the community.
Winter WonderFest was recognized for its outstanding efforts to highlight southern Delaware by creating lasting memories for residents and visitors alike. In its first year, Winter WonderFest hosted more than 47,000 visitors from 26 states. Its Light Spectacular holiday light show at Cape Henlopen State Park drew 11,000 vehicles to the 1.5-mile tour - creating holiday fun for families and friends one carload at a time.
Festival of Cheer is the nonprofit organization that oversees the fundraising efforts, which raised $150,000, providing $100,000 in community grants in 2016. "The money we raise stays right here in Sussex County," said John Snow, Festival of Cheer president. "This is just the beginning of putting our community on the map. We are honored to be recognized as Best New Event," said Snow.
Attractions include the Light Spectacular, plus expanded family-fun attractions at the Christmas Village at the Lewes ferry terminal. There are visits with Santa and fun for kids at Santa's workshops, plus the new Visit Delaware Ice Rink. For more information, go to www.wonderfestde.org.