Elkhart’s Winterfest Celebration

The City of Elkhart will hold its Winterfest parade and tree lighting on Friday, December 7. The festivities had previously been scheduled for Dec. 1, but were postponed due to inclement weather.

The “Peace on Earth”-themed parade will begin at 7:30 p.m., following Main Street, from Harrison Street to Lexington Avenue. Immediately following the parade, a tree lighting ceremony will be held on the Civic Plaza. At the center of the tree lighting ceremony will be a 33-foot blue spruce, ordained with thousands of multi-colored lights.

The Winterfest celebration will continue on Saturday, December 8 with multiple activities scheduled throughout the day. From noon to 4:00 p.m., Elkhart’s National New York Central Railroad Museum will host All Aboard with Santa. The event will include milk and cookies with Santa, music, story time, and activities throughout the museum. The cost of admission is $6.00 for patrons age 13 to 60, $5.00 for patrons 61 and over, and free for children three and under.

The City’s NIBCO Water and Ice Park will be open from 12:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. weather permitting. A memorial skate from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. will honor Ralph Hartnagel, a longtime volunteer at the ice park. Admission is free all day with a $3.00 skate rental.

The tackiest event in town, the Elkhart Education Foundation’s Ugly Sweater Run and Stroll, will begin at 3:00 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. respectively. Prizes will be given for ugliest sweater, most creative holiday outfit, fastest male and female, and best dressed canine!

Saturday will also be one of the last opportunities for children to drop off their letters to Santa. Letters can be dropped off at any of the following locations but must be received by December 10 in order to ensure a response from Santa!

• Elkhart Central Fire Station, 500 East Street
• Elkhart Police Department, 175 Waterfall Drive
• Mayor Neese’s Office at City Hall, 229 South Second Street
• City of Elkhart Parks and Recreation Department, 201 South Second Street
• Elkhart Public Library, 300 South Second Street
• NIBCO Water and Ice Park, 303 NIBCO Parkway
• Hopman Jewelers, 100 North Main Street
• Bella’s Boutique, 226 South Main Street
• Stephenson’s, 211 South Main Street
• Seifert Drug, 230 South Main Street
• 523 Tap and Grill, 523 South Main Street
• Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, 418 South Main Street
• Lerner Theatre, 410 South Main Street
• Electric Brew, 113 East Lexington Avenue
• Boling Vision Center, 2746 Old U.S. 20
• B on the River, 333 NIBCO Parkway
• Star Tire and Brake, 415 North Main Street
• Artisan, 505 South Main Street
• Midwest Museum of American Art, 429 South Main Street