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Winter Wonderfest kicks off third holiday season

More lights and attractions at ferry and state park
November 16, 2018

Winter Wonderfest is set to return to Lewes for its third year Friday, Nov. 16.

The Delaware Tourism Office joined Festival of Cheer, the organizer of Winter WonderFEST, along with Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes; and Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton; and Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, Nov. 14 at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal to kick off the event and highlight the power of partnerships working to grow southern Delaware as a year-round destination for out-of-state visitors. 

“Tourism plays a valuable role in Delaware, contributing $3.3 billion annually to the state’s economy,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “Events like Winter WonderFEST and next month’s Slam Dunk to the Beach offer even more reasons for people to explore the endless discoveries in the state’s beach region long after summer has ended.” \

Liz Keller, Delaware tourism director, said Winter Wonderfest attracted 60,000 attendees from 31 states last year. 

“That is so important to the area’s many hotels, restaurants and shops,” she said. “It is a testament to the significance of partnerships between organizations that see value in driving visitation at this time of year.” 

Peter Briccotto, event organizer, said the third year will feature a much larger ice rink, 2,000 square feet larger than last year. The light displays in Cape Henlopen State Park have grown from 110 to 146, and the Christmas Village at the ferry has grown, including a larger Schellville, featuring dozens of miniature homes and buildings. 

John Snow, president of Festival of Cheer, reminded everyone in attendance Nov. 14 that the primary goal of Winter Wonderfest is to raise money for the Cape Region community. 

“We have worked with our partners to make the third year of Winter WonderFEST the best one yet,” he said. “We’ve grown the ice rink, light display and Christmas Village. We’re confident that will also lead to growth in attendance, meaning we will raise even more money for Sussex County charities.” 

The Visit Delaware ice rink is open Tuesday through Sunday except for Thanksgiving and Christmas (times vary). Admission on weekends is $10 for adults or $8 for children. Weekday admission is $6 for adults and children. The price includes skate rental.

For more information including operating times and prices, go to www.wonderfestde.org.