Dover parade highlights weekend of area holiday spirit

Winter WonderFest has moved north from its former Lewes location to Hudson Fields on Del. 1 near Milton. Families can enjoy ice skating, a unique miniature town “Schellville,” and a drive-through Christmas light spectacular. (Submitted photo)

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas. This weekend’s holiday celebrations taking place throughout Kent and Sussex counties should get residents in the spirit.

Saturday will see Dover’s Light Up For the Holidays Parade and Holiday Marketplace from 5 to 9 p.m., rain or shine.

“It’s a wonderful time of the year,” said Brynn Voshell, administrative assistant/market manager for the Downtown Dover Partnership. “This is my third year helping with the parade. There is just something magical about watching the parade participants lit up as they stroll down Loockerman Street.”

“You will be able to do a little holiday shopping before the parade begins,” Ms. Voshell said. “You can also grab a bite to eat from one of our food vendors that will be in the plaza or at one of the many dining options in downtown.

“We will offer a craft area where kids can make a holiday ornament, balloon animals, giant yard games, music, and more.

This year, the event will have three judges for the parade, which starts at 6:30 p.m., judging eight different categories, said Ms. Voshell.

“We will also be revealing the winners of our Downtown Dover Window Decorating Contest during the parade,” Ms. Voshell said.

“Once the parade is over, the participants are asked to join us in the Loockerman Way Plaza for the announcing of the winners as well as making one last visit with Santa before he heads back to the North Pole.”

She said watching the kids enjoy Santa is her favorite part of the event.

“We anticipate hundreds of onlookers for the parade,” Ms. Voshell said. “Each year, we have seen the number grow. I love seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces as they watch the parade. It’s a wondering feeling.”

Tina Bradbury, an event organizer with the Downtown Dover Partnership, said, “Since it is at night, we encourage everyone who comes out to wear something that either glows or lights up to participate in the fun.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus make their way down Loockerman Street during a past Dover holiday parade. (Delaware State News file photo)

Now in its fourth year, the holiday extravaganza Winter WonderFest has moved north from its former Lewes location to Hudson Fields on Del. 1 near Milton. Fmilies can enjoy ice skating, a unique miniature town “Schellville,” and a drive-through Christmas light spectacular. There are also games, rides and refreshments available. The event, which raises money for community groups, continues through New Year’s Eve.

Ticket information, parking and hours are available at wonderfestde.org. There is even a Christmas tree shop on site.

Embrace more holiday fun in Milton on Saturday with the 30th annual Holly Festival. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at venues throughout town, including H.O. Brittingham Elementary School, Goshen Hall and Milton Public Library, holiday events will be hosted, from visits with Santo to holly wreath demonstrations and more than 70 vendors selling gifts, decorations and treats.

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