OCCOQUAN – (Press Release) The Occoquan River Communities Alliance (ORCA) is proud to present WinterFest for the 4th consecutive year, bringing areas in Lorton, Occoquan and Lake Ridge together for a full-day celebration of the season. This year’s regional event will be held Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at various locations.
WinterFest will feature Santa’s Lake Ridge Parade celebrating this year’s theme, “Christmas Around the World.” Following the parade, which starts at 11 a.m., spectators and participants are encouraged to stay for the trophy ceremony, free hot chocolate, pictures with Santa inside Clearbrook Center of the Arts and other fun children’s activities.
“Santa’s Lake Ridge Parade is for the kids,” said Nancy Kyme, co-founder of WinterFest and chair of the parade committee. “It’s a short route. We have a lot of Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and local dance teams like Woodbridge Academy of Dance. When they reach the judges’ review stand, they pause for a one-minute performance, which is always fun and entertaining to watch.”
In the Town of Occoquan, visitors can take part in a sing along with holiday carolers, roast marshmallows over a fire pit, drink hot chocolate and soak up festive music by the Dunbar Saxophone Quartet. Children’s activities are sure to entertain, and shops and eateries will remain open past normal business hours.
The day will end with fireworks, ushered in by Santa on a boat, between 8 and 8:30. Fireworks are sponsored by Prince William Marina, and Hoffmaster Marina will be open to the public to watch the display.
“Fireworks are launched over the river in festive holiday colors,” said Bryanna Altman, event co-founder and this year’s chairperson. “It’s quite a site to see, as the fireworks glisten over the river.”
“The Town of Occoquan is pleased to once again partner in this festive regional event,” said Julie Little, Events and Community Development Director for Town of Occoquan. “Many thanks for the hard work of all the volunteers for this very special collaborative effort. WinterFest is a wonderful celebration of the season in our region.”
Part of the unique partnership includes the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, which will host its 2nd Annual Instrument Petting Zoo. This free family activity encourages visitors to try musical instruments they might have dreamed of playing but never had the opportunity. Professional musicians and instructors will guide visitors through making music. The center invites everyone to enjoy live performances and demonstrations and take part in an instrument donation drive to benefit local youth music programs.
The Workhouse Arts Center will also open up its Second Saturday Art Walk, giving visitors a chance to stop by artists’ studios, stroll around campus and experience holiday cheer. Gift shops, galleries and studios will be open for holiday shopping. Caroling, hot chocolate, a visit with Santa and a holiday decoration make-and-take will make the time at the center complete.
“Winterfest is a beautiful example of multiple entities working in concert to create an unforgettable day of experiences for our community,” said Ava Spece, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc.
“At the Workhouse, we have everything from kids’ morning camp and cookie making, to free opportunities to make art, see art and experience visual and performing arts on this remarkable campus. Whether you are interested in strolling through the galleries, participating in the snowflake workshop or making a glass ornament, come visit the Workhouse during WinterFest 2018.”
Altman hopes residents both in the area and outside the area will take the time to come out, celebrate the season and enjoy the festivities. “It truly is a magical time for everyone,” she said.
For more information on WinterFest, visit ORCA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OccoquanRiverCommunitiesAlliance, or call Bryanna Altman at 571-283-1983.
Formerly the Occoquan River Communities (ORC), the Occoquan River Communities Alliance (ORCA) is a grassroots group of volunteers from Fairfax and Occoquan, headquartered in Prince William County, Virginia. ORCA’s mission is to create a destination along the Occoquan River by promoting the arts and cultural district, coordinating events and disseminating information associated with the Occoquan River.