When it comes to holiday cheer, nothing says Christmas quite like the start of the Winterfest of Lights each year. The Winterfest of Lights at Northside Park is the event of the winter season, bringing an extra twinkle to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. This Thursday is the opening night, with the annual tree lighting set to kick-start the event. More than one million holiday lights will sparkle throughout your favorite beach resort and Northside Park will have hundreds of animated, lighted displays for your viewing pleasure. One of our favorite childhood pastimes consists of bundling up in whatever we could find and heading into the heated tent to grab hot chocolate before hopping on the tram to head into a winter wonderland.

Winterfest of Lights returns to OCMD, which means that our community is coming together once again to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. This event truly epitomizes the holiday season here in Ocean City with dazzling displays of lights, a festive atmosphere, and an excuse to get out of the house for some holiday fun. On November 20th, a special grand opening ceremony will feature Ocean City’s elementary school “OC Stars” performing a great song and dance. A surprise visit by Santa Claus and free train rides will be available for the attending public. (Santa will be on hand every night until December 23rd to receive your children’s holiday wish list and have his picture taken.)

Location: Northside Park 127th Street Bayside

Totaling more than 1,000,000 lights and hundreds of displays, the 2 and ½ month celebration draws thousands of visitors each holiday season. From Mid-November through January, locals and tourists will see unique light setups mimicking a seaside resort, with surfing Santa’s, animated sharks, Santa hooked a marlin from a charter boat, and more. Finally, the centerpiece of the celebration: a magnificent sand sculpture and the city’s ginormous 60 foot Christmas tree. More light displays include swans, six geese laying eggs, peter pan and captain hook figurines. After the ride, visit the Winterfest Village and browse the Yukon Cornelius Gift Shop, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and take the 10 minute train ride around the display of thousands of holiday lights.

As usual, the event takes a lot of work to set up and put on. Enter Ocean City’s hard workers. It takes them almost 40 days to set up all of the displays, the work begins in October with crews setting up the bulbs and making sure each one is working correctly.

But as usual, each of these events the town puts on is so worth it! Especially to see the children’s first time on the train during the chilly night, sipping hot chocolate and watching the beautiful twinkly lights in amazement…it’s what the season is all about!

For Your Information:

Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-9:30PM

Friday-Saturday, 5:30-10:30PM.

Admission: $5 per person. Kids ages 11 & under ride FREE.

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