Ellington Winterfest Celebrates “Sweet 16”

The Ellington Winterfest will be celebrating its 16th year of holiday frolic on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Ellington’s gazebo green bordered by Main and Maple Streets (Route 286 and 140) and Church Street.

As visitors await the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer, the Tree-Lighting Ceremony will be kicked off by welcomes from town officials followed by seasonal music from Tim Adams and the Center and Crystal Lake School choruses Santa and his clan will be available to pose for pictures during their presence on the town green, so parents are encouraged to bring along a camera.

At 5:15 p.m., Santa and company will board their sleigh for the Torchlight Parade. Featuring festooned fire trucks from around Connecticut, floats, and merry marchers, they will wend their way down Main Street from Berr Avenueto the fire station. Ellington businesses and organizations that wish to participate in the parade must contact the Ellington Volunteer Fire Dept. for permission to do so.

Visitors are invited to enjoy many other attractions in and around Ellington to celebrate the holiday season.

On Friday, Nov. 30, the Ellington Singers kick off the Winterfest with their annual Holiday Concert at Hall Memorial Library at 7 p.m. with refreshments served afterward.

On Saturday, December 7th, there will be a full day of festive activities in many venues around Main and Maple Streets (Rts. 286 and 140) in Ellington:

Hall Memorial Library will conduct its annual Ornament Workshop for three sessions beginning at 10:00 a.m. (free tickets available November 18). Also at the library, scenes from “Charlie Brown Christmas” will be performed by the Opening Knight Players at 5:00 p.m.; musical selections by Windermere Instrumentalists at 5:45 p.m.; musical selections by the Ellington High School Chorus at 6:30 p.m.; and a holiday card-making workshop, sponsored by the Crystal Lake Community Church, from 5-7 p.m. Refreshments will be served throughout the evening by the Library Board. Meanwhile, parents are reminded to place their child’s name in the box at the library, beginning November 12, for a chance to be chosen as one of Santa’s Helpers in lighting the town trees. One young boy and one young girl are selected for this special honor each year.

The Nellie McKnight Museum on Main Street will be open for tours from 3:00-6:00 p.m. and will feature a “step-back-in-time” handweaving demonstration on Nellie’s floor loom with samples of her weaving available for viewing. 

Next door, the Ellington Congregational Church will offer their annual Vendor & Craft Fair from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; Bell Choir & Christmas Carol Sing in the church sanctuary from 3:00-3:50 p.m.; the beautiful Labyrinth Walk (illuminated with luminaria after dark, weather permitting) from 3:30-6:30 p.m.; and the popular Winterfest Café, in their Social Room, will offer a “family friendly” menu, with continuous seating, from 4:00-6:30 p.m.

On Maple Street (Rt. 140) the Ellington Senior Center will feature its annual Vendor & Craft Fair from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Up the road, at 2 Maple Street, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, invites the public to their Nativity Festival – A Celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ – which includes a display of over 150 nativities from around the world, as well as a live presentation of the Nativity outside their chapel on both Saturday and Sunday, December 7-8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and complimentary refreshments will be available.

For those wishing to warm up from the cold during Winterfest, they can also saunter over to the Town Annex on Main St. where the Ellington Women’s Club will provide hot chocolate and baked goods as a courtesy. 

Please check the local media for an update on all the activities, as well as the town’s website (www.ellington-ct.gov). A full list of activities will be posted at Hall Memorial Library prior to the event. In the interim, a Winterfest video, compliments of photographer Jim Michaud, can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com” by plugging in ‘Ellington Winterfest’ or ‘Christmas Canon’ on their website. 

For further information, please call Ellen Karadimas at 860-875-3885 and leave a message. In case of inclement weather, please call Hall Memorial Library at 860-870-3160 for an update. There will be no rain/snow date.

The Ellington Winterfest Committee encourages the community to bring their family, friends and holiday cheer to this merry event on December 7th and to remember to bring that camera! Through the years, the on-going support of this joyful event has been deeply appreciated. Happy Holidays!

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