Winter Fest Goes on Despite Bad Weather

Winter Fest Goes on Despite Bad Weather

The spirit of the season was quite evident, even though Chelsea Winter Fest moved indoors this past Saturday.

“As much as I would have loved to be out in the cold and the snow, celebrating our community in the warmth of the Mary C. Burke Complex cafetorium was certainly the way to go,” said City Manager Jay Ash, who coordinated the Chelsea Winter Fest this past Saturday.

“It was much warmer and still as festive,” said City Councillor Leo Robinson, who was one of numerous volunteers who helped more than 400 attendees enjoy games, entertainment, goodies, raffles and being together during the holiday season.

The third annual event was scheduled to return to Washington Park in Prattville after a second year move to the field outside of the Burke Complex.  Washington Park was and is still lit up in lights, including the new pergola, for the event. However, with temperatures predicted to be in the low 20s and snow projected to start at the same time that festivities were set to begin, Ash made the call and inside the party went.

“Big thanks to Superintendent Mary Bourque and her terrific staff for helping us to move everything indoors in what was a wild 48 hours,” said Ash. “We cancelled some stuff, added others, and started decorating Saturday morning, all in advance of welcoming a great crowd for a fun time.”

As the first snow of the season covered Washington Park, jacketless revelers sipped hot chocolate provided by the Salvation Army and Munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts on Everett Avenue. Kids played games like Frosty Toss and Bowling Over Santa. Families paused to watch performances by the Off Broadway dancers and students from the Chelsea High School Tri-M honor society. Pictures were taken with Frosty the Snowman and the Grinch. The toy drive table was full, as were arts and crafts tables staffed by the Chelsea Collaborative and the Chelsea Girls Scouts.

And then there were the raffles.

“Yes, we gave away a lot of great prizes, thanks to our great community supporters,” said Ash.

Among those donating sports tickets, gift certificates, toys and other prizes were:  State Garden, One North of Boston, Market Basket, Chief Brian and Today’s Auto Body Kevin Kyes, Blue Man Group, Kiwanis, Representatives Eugene O’Flaherty and Kathi-Anne Reinstein, Senator Sal DiDomenico, McDonald’s, Docksides, Burger King, Fusion Foods, the Gold Mine, Tedischi’s in Cary Square, the City Café, Plaza Mexico, Madelyn Garcia Real Estate, the Residence Inn, Bella Island, Mystic Brewery, Sabor Especial and Chelsea’s newest business, King of Wings in Cary Square.

On the way out the door, everyone was treated to take home sweets by Muffin Town.

In terms of next year, Ash is already at work thinking about making the event even more special.

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Chelsea Winter Fest This Saturday

Chelsea Winter Fest This Saturday

Sylvia Ramirez, Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty, Nancy Pantano and School Committeewoman Rosemarie Carlisle enjoyed a previous rendition of what will be this Saturday’s Chelsea Winter Fest, to be held from 3-6 p.m. at the newly-renovated Washington Park. At the community celebration of the season, there will be rides, entertainment, raffles and plenty of holiday cheer.

Sylvia Ramirez, Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty, Nancy Pantano
and School Committeewoman Rosemarie Carlisle enjoyed
a previous rendition of what will be this Saturday’s Chelsea
Winter Fest, to be held from 3-6 p.m. at the newly-renovated
Washington Park. At the community celebration of
the season, there will be rides, entertainment, raffles and
plenty of holiday cheer.

A forecasted cold Saturday will not be a match, promise event organizers, for the warmth that attendees will feel at this year’s Chelsea Winter Fest.

“The weather will not chill the spirit of Chelsea Winter Fest,” predicted City Manager Jay Ash, the lead organizer of the third year event.  “Our day is shaping up to be a good ol’ fashioned community celebration; even bigger and better than the great time we’ve had each of the last two years.”

Hundreds are expected to attend Winter Fest and share in the special spirit it is meant to engender for the holidays and the community.  With games like Frosty Toss and Snow Shovel Croquet, entertainment featuring the Chelsea Public School performance honor society, many holiday musical favorites, and freshly made popcorn and hot chocolate, the 3-6 p.m. event held this year at the newly-renovated Washington Park in Prattville is sure to remind attendees that winter is a most wonderful time of the year.

“We’ve added to our event this year, with a small merry-go-round and a heated tent.  What will be the same is that everything is free, thanks to so many community sponsors who have stepped up and given in the spirit of the season, and our City Council who is supporting Winter Fest as a community building event,” said Ash.

Winter Fest attendees can win an impressive array of prizes, like Bruins, Celtics and Disney on Ice tickets, restaurant gift certificates, toy bags and bikes to be raffled off, thanks to businesses and people like State Garden, Today’s Auto Body, One North of Boston, State Reps. Kathi-Anne Reinstein and Eugene O’Flaherty and State Sen. Sal DiDomenico.

“There’s been such a great spirit around Winter Fest that we wanted to add to it again,” explained Madelyn Garcia, proprietor of Garcia Real Estate.  Garcia and her associates volunteer at the event and purchased bikes to help ensure that the Winter Fest celebration is a big success.

School Committeewoman Rosemarie Carlisle, who is an annual volunteer, said the event is the highlight of the season.

“Yes, it can be cold, but there’s nothing like being among your family and friends around the holiday season. And, besides, where else can you win such great raffles and have so much fun even if you don’t win?” said Carlisle, who pledges to be dressed in an outfit befitting the season.

Those who also do so will win extra raffle chances.

“Even if you don’t win a prize, though, every person will leave with a box of frozen goodies being donated by Muffin Town and a good feeling about celebrating the meaning of the holiday season together,” added Council President Leo Robinson.

The Winter Fest committee will be collecting toys that will be donated to the Salvation Army as part of the local toy drive. Extra raffle chances will be presented to those who do bring a toy.

Ash recommends that people dress warmly, although hot chocolate, which is being provided by the Salvation Army, and the heated tent will be available.  He also says that with people getting raffle chances for showing up, playing games, and being in the spirit of the season, those who can may want to bring self-address labels with them so they will not be spending all of their time filling out raffle tickets.

“Even if we get a little snow, all the better,” said Ash.  “I can’t wait for Chelsea Winter Fest to spend a great time with so many wonderful people during the most special time of the year.”

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