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Behind the Scenes: Ocean City’s Winterfest of Lights

Winterfest of Lights will have its Opening Ceremony this Thursday night, November 21, 2019, 5:30pm. 

To give you a behind the scenes look at how this wonderful light display and Christmas themed village all gets put together, we asked the town if we could give you, our readers, a sneak peek. We also asked the Town of Ocean City your questions and found out the answers. Scroll down for a video showcasing some of the production.


How many people does it take to set up Winterfest?
Several Departments City-wide are involved in the set up process -Not only Special Events, but Parks, Electricians, Public Works, I.T. and more. Over 50 people

How many days does it take to set up Winterfest?
Starting in September and until opening night November 21st.  About 60 days.

How many lights are used to decorate for Winterfest? 
Over 800,000

How large is the tent?
The Winterfest Pavilion is 60 feet wide by 260 feet long

How tall is the main tree?
50 feet

How many people usually visit Winterfest?
Over 100,000

How many trams run each night for Winterfest?
Up to 6 Trams

Are pets allowed?
On Sunday through Thursday evenings pets are welcome to ride the train and well as visit and have photos taken with Santa. We discourage pets on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays due to the large crowds. It is always at the discretion of the Winterfest Management whether we are able to allow dogs to ride.

What is the best way to avoid a wait for your ride at Winterfest?
Tickets can be purchased in advance at Northside Park 125TH Street, Monday – Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm or at the Convention Center Visitors Center, Monday through Friday 8am – 4:30pm, Sat & Sun 9am -3pm. There is a separate line at the event for pre-purchased ticket holders. Also, to avoid long lines, come Sunday through Thursday. Those are generally slower nights.

Pic of many of the tram car drivers this year for Winterfest.

How many staff help run Winterfest once it is open?
40 Positions

New This Year

Anything new or different about Winterfest this year?
Every year is a new layout throughout the park and new music, so it is always a different ride experience from year to year. The 50 ft tree will have music and animated lights. Inside the tent, there will be a beautiful new lighted trees display and many new items to shop for in the Marlin Marketplace. New InstaSpots will be provided by Park Place Jewelers, Nick’s Mini Golf, I.G. Burton and the Ocean City Life Saving Station Museum.

The tram cars have all been fitted with new sound systems. The music over the speakers will feature two songs from albums that have not been released as of yet!

The most exciting new offering is Mrs. Claus’ Children’s Shoppe. The shop will allow children to buy for their loved ones in secret. Before the children enter the store, their parents help them fill out a form that list who they are shopping for and the budget they have to spend. While in the shop, Mrs. Claus will help them pick out their gifts and wrap them. All gifts’ prices include sales tax. Parents can still be surprised on Christmas morning, because the presents are wrapped, and the form simply lists the total amount due within the predetermined budget.

Jessica Bauer
Jessica Bauer
Jessica is a creative through and through. She loves creating from sun up to sun down. She is an artist, a friend, a mom, a wife, and whatever other hat she might wear in a day. You might find Jessica with a camera or sketch pad in the local area, but you might find her far and away as she loves to travel. If you see her say, hi and give her dog/baby, Joey a hello too since they usually travel together!

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