Festival of Cheer, the cultural nonprofit organization which produces Winter Wonderfest, will celebrate its fifth anniversary at Hudson Fields during the 2020 holiday season.
As the region continues to experience the impacts of COVID-19, one thing was clear to Wonderfest organizers – the show must go on.
John Snow, Festival of Cheer president, said, “Wonderfest has become a holiday tradition over the past four years. Our fans have made it clear, the festival brings comfort and beauty to their lives. In times of such uncertainty, our nonprofit is committed to providing families with a high-quality – and safe – Christmas experience. The nice thing about our drive-thru light show is that it is already an attraction that can be easily staged regardless of our situation regarding the COVID-19 virus come this holiday season.”
Considering the immense amount of positive impact this tradition has created across the region, organizers have started planning their upcoming season to navigate all variables to keep the lights on at Wonderfest. Fortunately, many attractions, including the drive-through Light Spectacular and the Midway, can easily conform to any social distancing best practices. Innovative solutions are being explored for other attractions and amenities to ensure any temporary public health regulations are honored.
Since launching in 2016, Wonderfest’s impact has reverberated throughout the community. The charitable organization has awarded over $150,000 in grants to Sussex County charities. Over $500,000 of festival proceeds and private grants has been invested in the purchase of the ice rink to ensure skating could remain in Sussex County, and the installation of cost-saving infrastructure at Hudson Fields to meet operational demands. Volunteers of all ages have found a true sense of purpose by giving over 15,000 hours of their time to create and operate the event.
Winter Wonderfest also provides the business community with an economic anchor during the seven-week event to increase tourism.
Peter Briccotto, event director, said, “Our team of volunteers is ready to lift the everyone’s spirits with another season of holiday memories at Hudson Fields. In these uncertain times, we hope the community will continue to support our event, and trust our organization to safely produce a much-needed holiday festival full of wonder and cheer!”
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