To kick off the holiday season, the third annual Wellington Winterfest will be bigger and better than ever Saturday, Dec. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
This year’s event will be presented by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and its sponsors, the International Polo Club Palm Beach and One Wellington.
Local resident and celebrity Vanilla Ice will be headlining the show. There will be a tree-lighting ceremony, snow and a variety of local talent performing.
The event has been staged previously at the Wellington Amphitheater, but the location has changed to a bigger venue. “Over the past few years, the event has kept on growing and has taken on a life of its own,” International Polo Club Palm Beach President of Club Operations John Wash said. “I think we have outgrown the Wellington Amphitheater, and this is a good change.”
Winterfest has become one of the most popular events in the community and attracts thousands of people. The hometown event will be free and open to the public, with VIP seating available from $10. For the chamber, it’s a way to give back to the community, said Wellington Chamber President Alec Domb.
“This is our way of giving back to the community we serve,” he said. “We also have a lot of young adults who have talent who want to show that off, and this will be a perfect venue for them to do that.”
Wellington Chamber Executive Director Michela Perillo-Green is expecting another successful event. “The past few years have drawn record-breaking crowds and thrilled the audience with the best of performers, emcees and many surprises,” she said.
Winterfest is a way to welcome the holiday season. “This event is the most anticipated holiday event of the season as we bring back a hometown element to Wellington,” Perillo-Green said. “The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center will be an incredible backdrop to this spectacular evening.”
The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a show jumping competition in the PBIEC arena. “It’s a good way to introduce the community to a lot of what takes place in the equestrian industry here in Wellington, and we hope the public will enjoy it,” Wash said.
At 7 p.m., Wash, master of ceremonies for the evening, will officially kick off the event by welcoming everyone and thanking all the sponsors and participants. There will then be the announcement of the first One Wellington Hero by One Wellington founder Mark Bellissimo.
Wellington Mayor Bob Margolis will be reading ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, which is a popular segment with the children. There will also be a food and wine expo with a variety of vendors. Tickets to the expo cost $25.
“I think the venue lends itself to do a multitude of activities that will support this function,” Wash said.
With the amount of growth over the years, having the event at PBIEC is a much-needed change, Wash said.
“The program has grown, and this venue allows for multiple activities to be going on at once,” Wash said. “I think we may see an increase in crowds because of this.”
Some of the other attractions will include Santa and his reindeer, live music, children’s activities, and holiday and crafts shopping.
This year’s event chairman is Dr. Randall Laurich of the Wellness Experience, which is also one of the sponsors.
For more information, visit www.wellingtonchamber.com or call (561) 792-6525.
ABOVE: Vanilla Ice at Winterfest last year.