By Rob Montana
There’s something in the air this time of year in Trumansburg, a whiff of holiday spirit that permeates throughout its downtown.
Whether there’s snow or not, the Trumansburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s WinterFest helps kick off the winter season of celebration, bringing fun, music and a touch of magic to Main Street. This year the event – which will take place from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, December 2 – is marking its 22nd year, and bringing a few little twists to the classic favorites.
“One of the things I’m most excited about this year is the Fall Creek Brass Band,” said WinterFest Event Coordinator Elaine Springer. “They played last year, but they are playing a longer set and bringing a bigger band.
“They will be escorting the fire truck with Santa’s arrival,” she added. “It will be parade style down to the tree.”
The band will be performing – a mix of holiday tunes and fan favorites – in the Leslie Puryear Community Stage, which will be brought to Main Street. A joint project between Ithaca Generator and GrassRoots, the idea behind the portable stage is to provide a platform that could be used by many organizations’ events. It will offer the band a more protected – and raised – place to play.
Hilby the Skinny German Juggling Boy and magician Mike Stanley will also entertain WinterFest-goers on the closed off Main Street; and horse-drawn carriage rides and games will be offered free of charge.
Children will enjoy the visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be joined by emcees Buddy the Elf and Jovi.
New this year is a 50/50 raffle, a change from the traditional raffle prizes donated by local businesses.
“Our businesses give so much to this community throughout the year, we thought it would be nice to give them a break (for WinterFest) this year,” said Springer.
Tickets for the 50/50 are available for purchase now through the festival at Good to Go Trumansburg Market, Ulysses Philomathic Library, and Sundrees.
Stores and restaurants will be open during WinterFest, and many will offer special events. How Sweet It Is will have hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows, as well as Sheldrake wines for tasting, there will be snowflake cutting at Good to Go, gingerbread person decorating and beer tasting at Felicia’s Atomic Brewhouse; Silver Line Tap Room will be showing a family-friendly holiday movie inside, and hot beverages will be available outside the establishment.
“We’ve arranged for Trumansburg Rotary to prepare and serve free soup for festivalgoers,” said Springer. “Full Plate Farm Collective and Sweetland Farm have donated organic vegetables for the soup.
“We thought it was a nice way to give back to the community,” she added. “We really want this to be a free family event that is accessible to all.”
WinterFest will also feature a holiday-themed sculpture created and installed by the Trumansburg High School AP Studio Art class.
“I’m excited to have them back with the installation of the ice sculpture next to the tree,” Springer said. “A lot of students are involved in things and may not be able to come out to WinterFest, so this is a way for them to feel connected.”
Students from the Trumansburg Class of 2019 will also be dressing up as elves to help out during the event to raise money for their after prom party.
“We’re going to make a donation for each student that dresses up,” said Springer.
The evening will close with a storytime reading of “The Snow Queen” at Ulysses Philomathic Library at 7 p.m.; with cookies, hot drinks and a fire in the fireplace.
For more information about WinterFest, visit Facebook.com/TburgWinterFest or find the Facebook event page at Facebook.com/events/1070717553058539.