Festival of Cheer Inc., the nonprofit organization which produces Winter WonderFest at Hudson Fields, will deliver the holiday festival in a limited capacity for the 2020 season. Organizers believe they can offer a safe and fun holiday experience at a time when it is so desperately needed, while continuing to raise money to support Sussex County charities.
For the 2020 season, they are delivering an entirely stay-in-your-car experience titled The WondeFest Express: A Journey to the North Pole. WonderFest will run daily from Nov. 20 through Dec. 31.
Ordinarily, the event would include the drive-through Light Spectacular and the Christmas Village. The Christmas Village typically consisted of Schellville, a carnival midway with rides and games, a lodge with dining services, an open-air ice rink, and a Christmas tree farm.
In order to keep all visitors in their vehicles, the following attractions will not be offered: the ice rink, the midway and games, Schellville, the lodge, hayrides and restrooms.
Instead, WonderFest will feature an enhanced drive-through light show experience. This year’s North Pole-themed light show will include a climactic finale: a drive-through Santa’s Workshop complete with Santa presiding over a number of elves hard at work.
After the one-mile ride among nostalgic Christmas lights, visitors will arrive at the North Pole and drive through a tented Santa’s Workshop. A glass box will be placed alongside the car route inside the workshop in which children can drop their wish lists. The children can then watch a Christmas elf take their list and hand-deliver it to Santa himself.
While remaining seated on his throne, Santa will wave to each car acknowledging his receipt of their Christmas wishes. While children may not be able to climb onto Santa’s lap, the hope is that taking pictures from the car of this interactive experience will make the holiday season more complete. They will include with each ticket purchase a North Pole-themed blank list that children can fill out ahead of time or in their cars with their parents during their journey to the North Pole.
Members of WonderFest’s board of directors are leaders in their respective industries and are currently involved in ensuring public and workplace safety during this pandemic. They will implement the same standards of safety at Winter WonderFest that they have employed at their respective restaurants, childcare centers, casinos and more.
Their goal is to produce a holiday event which Delaware can support, be proud of, and use as a national example of how Delaware has risen to the challenges of this pandemic. They feel this event is a unique opportunity for Delaware to showcase a holiday event done right during these difficult times.