Winter WonderFest offers free family activities for New Year's Eve Closing Party

December 27, 2017

Now in its final days, Winter WonderFest is open every day from 5 to 9 p.m. for everyone who's clinging to the holiday spirit.

For its finale, organizers of Winter WonderFest are hosting a community New Year's Eve Family Fun closing party at the Christmas Village located at the Lewes Ferry Terminal. "It's our way of saying thanks to everyone who made this year possible," said John Snow, president of Festival of Cheer, the nonprofit organization that oversees the event. "We're grateful for our incredibly generous sponsors, scores of volunteers, and, of course, thousands of guests who are making Winter WonderFest a tradition for their own families."

The noon to 7 p.m. closing party is timed to give people a go-to spot to celebrate the coming year with their kids, and still have time to attend other festivities later in the evening.

"Although the New Year's Eve day party may end at 7 p.m., there will be the traditional ball drop - make that a beach ball drop," said Event Director Peter Briccotto. ”We have free face painting and balloon animals from 1 to 4 p.m., plus free magic shows performed at 3, 4, 5 and 6 p.m." He noted there will also be free concerts by Rick Arzt from 3 until the 7 p.m. closing.

"It's exhilarating to see so many people coming out to support our fundraising efforts – especially those who are spending their holiday break here at the Delaware beaches," said Briccotto. The seven-week event benefits Sussex County charities that provide for residents and visitors alike. 

New Year's Eve skating sessions are also available. "Given the popularity of the Visit DE Skating Rink, we're predicting the sessions will sell out, so reserve yours right now!" advised Briccotto. Sessions are noon, 1, 2, 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. The first 300 preregistered skaters will also receive free giveaways. Make reservations at, or call the box office at 302-727-0221.

Winter WonderFest's New Year's Eve day revelers will also enjoy the Christmas Village carnival rides and midway games, fun for kids of every age.

The last-day finale also includes an opportunity to see the Light Spectacular from 5 to 7 p.m. at Cape Henlopen State Park with 90 dazzling holiday displays and captivating drive-thrus plus 19 imaginative light show animations. Snow says the show is 30 percent bigger than the previous year, fulfilling his organization's promise to make 2017 bigger, brighter, and cooler. This year festival-goers enjoy more games and carnival rides, and the 80-by-90-foot ice rink - the jewel of the Christmas Village. For the little ones, a stroll down Christmas Lane creates family memories as they explore the kid-size buildings, all with holiday themes.

"Our New Year's Eve event is like our going-away party – except that we'll be back next year to continue our mission of building a brighter future for Sussex County," said Briccotto.

Details are online for the New Year's Eve Closing Party. Also find dates and times for Light Spectacular, Christmas Village and Holiday Workshops, plus admission and skating reservations at

The Winter WonderFest Box Office phone is 302-727-0221. Box office hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Proceeds support Winter WonderFest through the Festival of Cheer Community Grant Program. Grants awards are designated exclusively for Sussex County nonprofit groups.