CLEVELAND -- Winterfest 2012 in downtown Cleveland was the all-day street festival and celebration that kicked off the holiday season in Cleveland.
Families enjoyed free entertainment and activities all day long on Public Square.
The lighting of Public Square and the Holiday Tree has an exciting addition this year. As part of GE's 100 Year Anniversary at Nela Park, GE employees and students of MC2STEM High School, a project-based STEM school intent on preparing students for college and successful careers in STEM fields, will be holding a bike marathon on the SW quadrant of Public Square.
These bikers will be pedaling to power batteries which will power the Public Square Christmas Tree for 100 minutes.
Winterfest community partner events will be open to the public all day as well. Together they create programming throughout the day leading up to the ceremony to light the Square and Holiday Tree at 6 p.m.
Public Square Events This year, Public Square will be packed with concerts and activities for the whole family leading up to the lighting ceremony.
The fun kicks off on the Square at 1 p.m.
- 5:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. GE Bike-A-Thon Powers Lights on City's Holiday TreeGE will be holding a bike-a-thon on the SW Quadrant of Public Square. A platform will be set up in front of the Public Square fountain with stationary bikes set up. GE Employees and MC2STEM Students will pedal to kinetically power batteries which power the tree. This will generate 2,300 watts of power (the wattage of LED lights, ornaments and tree topper on the tree) to power the Public Square Christmas Tree for 100 minutes.
- Noon Watch OSU vs Michigan football game on the 14'w x 11' tall big screen in the middle of Public Square
- 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy free horse drawn carriage rides throughout Downtown Cleveland. Carriage rides begin at Superior Avenue and East Roadway, on Public Square (near Old Stone Church)
- 2:00 p.m. MC2STEM High School Fab Lab Children's Activities: Fabricate your own snowflake in GE's Fab Lab! - In the elbow on South Roadway
- 2:00-6:00 p.m. Radio Disney will activate the Southwest quadrant of Public Square with activities for the whole family to enjoy featuring their "D-Tour Team"
- 2:00-7:00 p.m. Holiday Chow-Down event with the Gourmet Food trucks on Ontario Avenue between Superior Avenue and Euclid Avenue.
Food trucks included are: MotorMouth, StrEat Mobile Bistro, The Nosh Box, Krav, Umami Moto, Fired Up Taco Truck, JiBARO, The Donut Lab and Sweet! The Mobile Cupcakery Umami Moto StrEat Mobile Bistro JiBARO The Nosh Box Zydeco Bistro Touch Supper Truck
- 2:00-7:00 p.m. Holiday Pop Up Shop, featuring the Cleveland Handmade Market and more will be present on Public Square. See below for more information
- 5:00 p.m. Radio Disney will entertain with a one hour show leading up to the official start of the Holiday Lighting Ceremony and firework display, on the Winterest Main Stage.
- NEW THIS YEAR - Radio Disney NEXT BIG THING star Jack Skuller performs a free concert for fans and families live on stage.
- 7:00-8:00 p.m. Immediately after the holiday lighting ceremony, enjoy the free Public After-Party with Santa hosted by the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center on Euclid Avenue. Families can enjoy free cookies, hot cocoa and pictures with Santa! Bring your own camera to create your nostalgia for now.
In addition to all the activity on Public Square, be sure to check out events happening near the Square throughout the day.
There will be something for everyone to enjoy from pictures with Santa, live Reindeers, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo animals, hot cocoa and cookies, holiday entertainment, and more.
Tower City Center
- 10:00am-9:00 pm: Kringle's Inventionasium & Kringle's QuickSnap (Level 1 next to The Twigbee Shop)
- 10:00am-9:00 pm: Bruce the Talking Spruce (Level 1 next to Sweet Factory)
- 10:00am-3:00 pm: Holiday Express Train Ride (Level 1 across from Locker Playball Sports) Tickets available at Guest Services or Kringle's
- 11:00am-7:00 pm: The Twigbee Shop will be open (Level 1 next to Sweet Factory; for kids 12 and under)
- 1:00pm, 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm: The Toy Soldier & Fairy Godmother Holiday Show & Meet & Greet at the Grand Staircase
Hard Rock Café
- 11:00 am-1:00 pm: Chillin with Kringle at the Hard Rock featuring pictures with Santa, and free punk rock hairstyling and temporary tattoos.
- Noon-5:00 pm: Open with information on all the fun exciting events happening throughout the holiday season
Positively Cleveland Visitor's Center
- 1:00-4:00 pm: Join the Visitor's Center and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for Get Close Animal Encounters. Visit and hang out with live animals, with a special guest appearance by Ele the Elephant.
The Arcade, a Cleveland Classic
- Noon-5:00 pm: Design your own unique snowflake to take home or leave for display at the Arcade during the holiday season
- 3:00-5:00 pm: Take pictures with Santa on his vintage sleigh, enjoy complimentary hot cocoa & face painting
- 3:30 pm & 4:30 pm: Enjoy guided tours of the Arcade. Meet historic characters from Cleveland's past and hear the sounds with strolling Dickens Carolers.
Cleveland Public Library
- 10:00 am-4:00 pm: Toy Train Depot at the Louis Stokes Wing, take a trip back in time at Toy Train Depot! Kids from 1 to 100 will enjoy interactive model train layouts courtesy of the Cuyahoga Valley S-Gauge Association
- 1:00 pm-3:00 pm: Reindeer Junction at the Eastman Reading Garden, meet a few of Santa's reindeer-in-training and learn about the Sami people of Finland who herd reindeer in the Arctic Circle.
- 1:00 pm-5:00 pm: Conductor Comet in the Main Library & Louis Stokes Wing, bring your camera or cellphone and take a photo with Conductor Comet the Reindeer.
- 2:00 pm: TubaChristmas Cleveland in the Louis Stoke Auditorium, bring the whole family and enjoy sounds of the season. Enjoy cookies and cider in the lower level lobby after the show.
Old Stone Church
- 4:00 pm: Concert with songwriter Tia McGraff
- 5:00 pm: Cocoa and cookie receptionImmediately following the fireworks, Old Stone Choir will perform a concert Home Sweet Cleveland @ Pura Vida
- 4:00-6:00 pm: Global Cleveland and the Cleveland Leadership Center are hosting a happy hour event to welcome newcomers, boomerangs and out of town visitors for a night of food, drinks and networking with professionals and top business leaders from our region. Register here.
East Fourth Street
- 7:30-9:00 pm: There will be five blocks of ice sculpture demonstrations. Come watch a sculptor design a wintery piece of art right in the middle of East Fourth.
Soldiers and Sailors Monument
- 9:00 am-6:00 pm: Monument will be open to guests
- Noon-6:00 pm: Santa will be present for photos