While unseasonably warm weather has kept winter away, the City’s first Chelsea Winter Fest will give the hundreds who are expected to attend a reminder of how much fun the colder season can be.
With games like Frosty Toss and Snow Shovel Croquet, entertainment featuring the Chelsea High School Drama Club and many holiday musical favorites, and freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate available for free, the 3-7 p.m. event this Saturday at Washington Park is sure to warm hearts, even as the temperature drops.
“Chelsea Winter Fest is looking like a good, ole’ fashion community celebration. We’ve already had people cheer the lights we’ve put on the trees in the parks, but that’s just the start of it. By the end of the event, we hope people have had a great time and carry a special Chelsea spirit into the holidays,” said City Manager Jay Ash.
Ash, who envisioned and is coordinating the event, praised his band of “elves” for helping to turn a wish that many had for Washington Park into something that is potentially much more.
“Over the years, I’ve listened to people say it would be great to decorate Washington Park like Boston Commons. We thought we’d do that and combine a bit of First Night into a pre-holiday event, so that our community could come together and share a good time. There are a couple of dozen volunteers helping to coordinate all aspects of Chelsea Winter Fest, and our business community and our elected officials have really stepped up to ensure that there’s more than just fun to be had,” boasted Ash.
The “more than fun” that Ash suggests may be an impressive array of prizes to be won by Winter Fest attendees. Bruins tickets, bikes, gift certificates, four-packs of Disney on Ice tickets, paintball play and a grand prize, a two-night stay at the Marriott at Patriot Place, are among the items to be won for free.
“People are going to get a raffle ticket for just showing up, and can get other tickets for playing games or donating a new toy to our toy drive,” explained School Committeewoman Rosemarie Carlisle, who is coordinating the raffle table. “We’ll be doing a ‘pick-a-prize’ format that will allow people to decide what gifts they’d like to win and put their raffles in those hats to hopefully be winners.”
Councillor Richie Maronski added that everyone will be going home with something.
“Even if you don’t win a prize, every person will leave with a box of frozen cookies being donated by Muffin Town. Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Dockside, Larry J’s, Fusion Foods, Chili’s and others have also donated refreshments or gift cards, so there’ll be plenty to share and cheer,” informed Maronski, who also listed the Chelsea Record, Boston Paint Ball, Market Basket, Nancy Sales, Kayem Foods, Metro Credit, Wyndham Hotel, Rotary, Kiwanis, Mass General, Representatives Eugene O’Flaherty and Kathi-Anne Reinstein, Senator Sal DiDomenico and Cataldo Ambulance among the fest sponsors.
Several community organizations will be setting up information tables, and the Winter Fest committee will be collecting toys that will be donated to local agencies as part of their toy drives. Games and arts and crafts, the latter being overseen by Chelsea’s Girl Scouts, will begin at 3 p.m. and run through the early evening. Entertainment will be highlighted between 4-6 p.m. Raffle drawings will take place every hour beginning at 3:45 p.m.
“And the fun will happen throughout the day,” promised Ash, who was also forecasting a clear, chilly day without rain.
Washington Park is located in Prattville across from Kokopelli Tanning at 383 Washington Ave. Kokopelli’s Mike Zullo says he is looking forward to the celebration.
“It’s great that the City is sponsoring such a gathering and residents and businesses are pulling together to make it something special. From my end, if people get cold, I hope they win one of the four $50 gift cards I’m donating and they come in for a tan,” concluded Zullo.