Winter WonderFest returns on Friday to Lewes

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Winter WonderFEST returns to Lewes for its third year starting Friday as coastal Delaware works to extend offerings for tourists and residents.

The Delaware Tourism Office (Visit Delaware) joined Festival of Cheer, the organizer of Winter WonderFEST, along with Sen. Ernie Lopez and Rep. Steve Smyk, this week at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal to kick off the event.

“Tourism plays a valuable role in Delaware, contributing $3.3 billion annually to the state’s economy,” said Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “Events like Winter WonderFEST and next month’s Slam Dunk to the Beach offer even more reasons for people to explore the endless discoveries in the state’s beach region long after summer has ended.”

“Winter WonderFEST not only brings wintery cheer to the region but also drove 60,000 attendees from 31 states to the Delaware Beaches during the off-season in 2017,” said Liz Keller, Delaware tourism director. “That is so important to the area’s many hotels, restaurants and shops. It is a testament to the significance of partnerships between organizations that see value in driving visitation at this time of year.”

Festival of Cheer Wednesday also unveiled exciting new additions to the 2018 Winter WonderFEST, including new events, a larger Visit Delaware ice rink, new light displays and an expanded Christmas Village.

The Visit Delaware ice rink is about 2,000 square feet larger than it was in 2017, allowing more skaters to enjoy the outdoor venue with the ferry terminal and bay as a backdrop. The ice rink is a centerpiece of the six-week Winter WonderFEST celebration that takes place at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal and Cape Henlopen State Park from November 17 to December 31.

“We have worked with our partners to make the third year of Winter WonderFEST the best one yet,” said John Snow, president of Festival of Cheer. “We’ve grown the ice rink, light display and Christmas Village. We’re confident that will also lead to growth in attendance, meaning we will raise even more money for Sussex County charities.”

The Visit Delaware ice rink is open Tuesday through Sunday except for Thanksgiving and Christmas (times vary).

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., part of the Delaware Division of Small Business, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware.

Festival of Cheer, a non-profit producing organization for Winter WonderFEST, was formed by community leaders with the mission to enrich lives by creating cultural events and health-related activities throughout the Cape region, and to increase philanthropic support of organizations supporting those residing in, and visiting, Sussex County.

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