WonderFEST extends dates, welcomes ‘Frozen’

Delaware State NewsLEWES — Due to popular demand, Festival of Cheer — the nonprofit organization which produces Winter WonderFEST, has extended the festival through Jan. 2.

Additionally, as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus head back to the North Pole for much needed rest, friends from “Frozen” will take over Santa’s Workshop & Elf Village from Saturday to Jan. 2.

Delaware’s biggest holiday fundraiser opened on Nov. 21 to celebrate its fifth anniversary season.

WonderFEST is open nightly, including Christmas Day, from 5 to 10 p.m. Over 12,000 vehicles have enjoyed this year’s special drive-through experience — setting a festival record. However, organizers hope 14,000 vehicles will enter the WonderFEST gates to reach their fundraising goals.

“Our nonprofit felt strongly, especially this year, that the show must go on. People need their spirits lifted during this difficult time and so we made the decision back in July to go forward with our 2020 event,” said John Snow, president of Festival of Cheer.

‘We worked through the various health, funding & planning challenges to deliver a safe & beautiful WonderFEST experience when it was so desperately needed.”

WonderFEST 2020 features an enhanced mile-long Light Spectacular with the new Fantasy Forrest Grand Entrance. After the drive through the lights, guests arrive at the North Pole featuring the new Secret Elf Village and special greeting from “Frozen” friends in Santa’s Workshop.

Organizers rely on the generosity of every car to help them reach their 2020 fundraising goals, including: $30,000 to support community grants, $40,000 to install power improvements to expand the Light Spectacular, and $25,000 to support a new attraction for WonderFEST 2021.

“The incredible success & growth of our festival has been fueled by dozens of generous sponsors, hundreds of dedicated volunteers – and every car that passes through the gates. I believe you can find light shows across our nation, but very few with heart of WonderFEST.” said Peter Briccotto, event director.

Since launching in 2016, WonderFEST’s impact has reverberated throughout the community. Festical of Cheer awarded over $150,000 of grants to Sussex County charities during 2016 and 2017.

Over $500,000 of festival proceeds from 2018 a d 2019, along with private grants, was invested in the purchase of the ice rink, doubling the size of the Light Spectacular, and Phase One installation of cost-saving infrastructure at Hudson Fields.

Volunteers of all ages have found a true sense of purpose by giving over 20,000 hours of their time to create & operate the event. Additionally, WonderFEST provides the business community with an economic anchor during the seven-week long event to increase tourism.

For more information, email info@wonderfestde.org or visit wonderfestde.org.

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