Winterfest 2015 at Playhouse Square

October 8, 2015

Winterfest kicks off the most wonderful time of the year.

By Annie Zaleski

The local holiday season unofficially begins when the Great Lakes Brewing Company taps their annual batch of Christmas Ale. But the official start of Cleveland's holiday festivities is marked by Winterfest, which this year takes place from 1-6:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, right in the heart of downtown.

Like last year, the event is centered at Playhouse Square, "under the sparkling chandelier," says Meghan Tinker, Strategic Communications Specialist at the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. "We're really looking forward to having it here, because we really like to take advantage of that space and celebrate the beauty that that chandelier brings to downtown."

This chandelier will be lit up alongside the majestic holiday tree during a 90-minute lighting ceremony, which features music from Humble G the Fiddla and Old Skool, and culminates in an impressive fireworks display.

Prior to that, attendees can explore Playhouse Square's Winterfest Village, which features things such as interactive performances from kid-friendly theatrical groups and a holiday pop-up tent highlighting local vendors. In addition, Winterfest partner venues all over downtown are hosting events and activities, starting in the morning and stretching into the wee hours of the night.

For example, at the Cleveland Public Library, kids of all ages can enjoy carolers and story time, as well as embark on free horse-drawn carriage rides. Tower City Center hosts three performances of the "Toy Soldier & Fairy Godmother Holiday Show," while the 5th Street Arcades host the indie craft extravaganza the Cleveland Bazaar. There's even a Winter Wine & Ale Fest at 925 Euclid happening later in the evening, for adults looking to unwind after a long day. (Events and activities are being added by the day; check the Downtown Cleveland Alliance's Winterfest page for updated details.)

It all adds up to a joyous kickoff to the most wonderful time of year-and an event meant to produce feelings of good cheer that linger through the end of 2015. "We really want people to enjoy all of downtown for the holidays," Tinker says. "We want them to come down and spend their time exploring downtown and celebrating traditions that Downtown Cleveland is known for."

For more on celebrating the holidays in Cleveland like festive events, winter restaurants and outdoor adventures click here.  

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