WinterFest on the Wisconsin

New this year is WinterFest on the Wisconsin in downtown Norfolk. Almost 300,00 lights brighten up the harbor and usher in some holiday cheer. Walking onto the pier, you're greeted by the sounds of live music as you follow a one way path onto the ship. Be advised, strollers are not allowed on board, and I would bring your carrier because in order to see the parts inside the ship you do need to climb. 

Tickets are timed on the hour with tree lighting ceremonies at 5:30 and 7:00. On Saturdays at 6:00 there is a lighted sailboat parade. There are regular elf and Santa sightings also. 

The deck of the ship is beautiful, and the live entertainment is great, but what impressed me most was the inside of the ship. Families are spaced out to ensure social distancing, and each room has a bit of a different theme. Be sure to look in each nook and cranny for all of the different elf scenes. 

The event is open until New Year's Eve and is closed on Christmas Day. Times begin at 4 p.m. and tickets must be purchased online. Nauticus members get in free during opening weekend, and they receive a discount on the other nights. Geico Insurance Policy Holders get a $1.00 discount on one ticket. On Monday, December 21, all active duty service members receive free admission. Food and drink are available for purchase. Masks are required for ages 5 and older. 

This is the first time I've felt some sort of normalcy since March. While we were wearing masks, and everyone was spaced out, doing something new and fun felt so good. While I'm sad that Charles Dickens' Christmas Towne isn't back for its normal run, I'm thrilled to see something new in downtown Norfolk, and I'm excited to see if it stays around following the pandemic!