One of U.P.'s most popular seasonal celebrations returns when Winter Fest lights up Market Square Plaza on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 2-6 p.m. The festivities will culminate with the lighting of the city's Christmas Tree at 5 p.m.
The excitement will begin at 2 p.m., when Dance Theatre Northwest’s Holiday Show & Nutcracker performers escort Santa to the University Place Civic Building at 3609 Market Square when he arrives on a West Pierce Fire & Rescue fire truck. Then young and old alike can celebrate Santa's arrival while enjoying crafts and food in Santa's Loft on the second floor of the Civic Building. There will be pictures with Santa and the chance to cozy up with a warm winter treat by the outdoor fireplace. Special holiday musical and dance performances will be presented by local schools and organizations from 2-6 p.m.
At 5 p.m., the Dickens Carolers, a Northwest tradition since 1978, will perform traditional and contemporary holiday favorites in their signature four-part harmonies.
In between all the special performances, visitors can enjoy seasonal shopping and holiday fare.
“We are so fortunate to have a wonderful public plaza like Market Square for our community to come together to celebrate the season together,” says U.P. Mayor Denise McCluskey. “It seems that every year, our Winter Fest crowds get bigger and the enthusiasm just grows and grows.”
The Mandon Foley Agency has sponsored Winter Fest for several years. For Mandon Foley, the agency’s owner, Winter Fest is the essence of celebrating community. “This is by far my favorite community festival because it’s really just about having fun,” he said. His American Family Insurance agency’s Mini-Cooper will be on hand again this year, decked out in its holiday finery. “We really enjoy the chance to just get out and see people. This event just keeps getting better and better each year.”
Sponsors of 2015’s Winter Fest are:
Santa's Loft: Click! Cable TV
Stage: Columbia Bank
Food: Whole Foods Market
Supporting Sponsors: O'Brien Dentistry, The Mandon Foley Agency, Directors Mortgage, Bridgespan Health, Kinder Swimmer, Umpqua Oats, Springfree Trampoline, Smith Brother Farms, Northeastern University-Seattle.
Find more information on the Winter Fest Facebook page or www.CityofUP.com.
Light UP Campaign Grows
For the last few years, business and property owners have been asked to help add an extra sparkle to University Place by participating in the annual “Light UP” campaign.
Councilmember Ken Grassi, who is also a U.P. business and property owner, has asked property owners on both sides of Bridgeport Way from 27th to 44th streets as well as 27th Street West to outline their rooflines with white LED lights from Nov. 15 through Jan. 15, 2016.
"The more participation we have from city businesses, the more effective this campaign is," Grassi said. "We want to create a welcoming and inviting arterials that will attract more shoppers and visitors to University Place. Just imagine how attractive Bridgeport and 27th Street can be with all the building rooflines etched with bright LED white lights!"
With a concentration of lights in these areas, the hope is that more and more people will begin to notice the variety of retail businesses U.P. has to offer and include University Place businesses in their holiday shopping plans.