Ocean City Council approves modifications to the 28th Annual Winterfest of Lights in 5-2 vote
OCEAN CITY, Md. — Today the Ocean City Council voted 5 to 2 to approve modifications to the 28th Annual Winterfest of Lights. This comes as businesses continue to make major adjustments to their events because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Special events director, Frank Miller, tells 47 ABC that one change visitors can expect at this year’s event is no tram rides. This means visitors will likely have to walk through Northside Park. He also says there won’t be any large heated tents this year because it wouldn’t be possible to adhere to social distancing guidelines. We’re told Councilman Dennis Dare, was against the walking concept, while, Councilman Matt James wants to still try to use the trams.
Another change this year will be the layout of the event. Since visitors will be walking, we’re told there will be a smaller layout for the light spectacle. Miller says, “2020 is the year of adapting events to work within state orders and directives and a tightened budget while striving to create a”normal” and enjoyable experience to the highest degree possible. Our patrons and residents deserve that.”
On the up side, Miller says Santa will still be present to take pictures with children inside of the community room at a new retail location. The gift shop will also be open and offering hot chocolate.
The festival will be open five days a week and will be open from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Below is a full list of modifications approved by the Council:
- No trams
- No closed tent structures
- New admission process
- Modified Santa area
- New retail location
- Revised staffing needs
- New lighting costs
- Increase in weather risks
- Additional holiday mini attractions
- Event open 5 days per week