Lawrence Deputy Chief of Staff Cori Korn is confident this year’s Winterfest will be bigger and better than its inaugural year in 2020.
Winterfest kicks off with the opening of the ice skating rink at 2 p.m. Nov. 20 at Civic Plaza, 5710 Lawrence Village Pkwy. Winterfest will run through Jan. 1. Live music will be performed from 6 to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during the event. Indy Jazz Orchestra will perform during the opening weekend.
A Nov. 27 event, themed “A Lawrence Christmas,” will take place near the skating rink. The following weekends, Charles Dickens carolers and Jennifer Mlott will perform several times, and on Dec. 4, there will be a Breakfast with Santa at the Benjamin Harrison YMCA, 5736 Lee Rd., although a time has not yet been set.
The Fort Ben Winter Farmers Market will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4 at Civic Plaza, and the Midtown Madmen will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. that day as well. Free Town Village Singers will perform from 7 to 8 p.m. Dec. 11. A winter solstice walk is planned for Dec. 21 at the Sterrett Center, 8950 Otis Ave., although a time has not been set.
The skating rink will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays and 2 to 8 p.m. Saturdays. It also is available for private rental. The rink will be closed Nov. 25, Nov. 26, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. It will operate Monday through Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. from Dec. 20 to Dec. 30 for special winter break hours.
“The new things we are having is the live music from 6 to 8 Friday and Saturday, and also we are having a winter solstice walk this year,” Korn said. “It’s an event for kids. There will be story time and they will get to learn about the winter solstice and make lanterns and then walk over to Civic Plaza and get hot chocolate and stuff when they arrive there.”
Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier said the event will include more opportunities for families than last year. He also said there will be food trucks available at varying times throughout the event.
“There are tons of opportunities for people to utilize the skating rink above and beyond the hours we are offering right now,” Collier said.
There also will be a Greeting Card Lane displaying large greeting cards on plywood.
“Clubs, businesses and different organizations, some churches in the community, are making greeting cards, and that’s what we’re using to decorate on 56th Street,” Korn said.
The city is encouraging local businesses to decorate for the holidays, and a people’s choice award will be presented to the most festive business.
“Really, the whole Winterfest experience is about bringing the community together,” Korn said. “We think it is a wonderful opportunity for families to come together, have fun and celebrate the spirit of the season and enjoy all that Lawrence has to offer.”
For more, visit vistilawrenceindiana.com.
Skating rink information
Hours: 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays and 2 to 8 p.m. Saturdays. There are special hours of noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday Dec. 20 through Dec. 30.
Rental costs: Skate rental and ice time is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Children skate free during “A Lawrence Christmas,” which is Nov. 27.
Private rentals: The skating rink is available for private rentals from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Renting the rink for one hour is $250, and it increases by $100 per additional hour. To rent the rink, visit visitlawrenceindiana.com/events/winterfest/skate-rink/.