Lights twinkle the trees on the Fairhaven Village Green. Horse-drawn covered wagon rides amble along the streets. Music drifts through Historic Fairhaven. The holiday season is once again upon us and Fairhaven Winterfest is in full swing.

A snowy storefront conjures beautiful memories and smiles. Photo courtesy: Fairhaven Winterfest.

Presented by the Historic Fairhaven Association, Fairhaven Winterfest rings in the holidays from November 24 through December 23. The appearance of Father Christmas and the Grand Tree Lighting heralds another year of festive tradition. And this year Fairhaven Winterfest has a few new events in store for the community.

“We are excited about both the traditional happenings of the Fairhaven holiday along with all of the new events we have planned for the community,” says Scott Ward, Fairhaven Winterfest Chairman. “There is definitely something for everyone.”

There will be many new events this year including the Find the Elves Treasure Hunt which will be held every Saturday. There is also the new Holiday Market on the Village Green and the Holiday Window Display contest, which was created in partnership with Sustainable Connections. As you meander the streets of Fairhaven during Winterfest, stop and enjoy the creative, fun and festive window displays. Then cast your vote for your favorite!

Horse-drawn covered wagon rides bring back memories of childhood during the holidays. Photo courtesy: Fairhaven Winterfest.

Fairhaven Winterfest kicks off on Friday, November 24 with an appearance by Father Christmas at the Gazebo from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. followed by the Holiday Art Walk and Open House. Peruse neighborhood shops and restaurants as you admire the art of our local professional and emerging artists.

Horse-drawn covered wagon rides begin on Saturday. The rides are free and leave regularly between 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. from in front of the Fairhaven Village Inn. Father Christmas will also be taking holiday wishes from the young and young-at-heart in the lobby of the inn. They will continue every Saturday throughout Winterfest.

Saturday’s Holiday Market features local merchants with unique gifts for all ages. You will feel the magic of the holidays as you enjoy on-stage performances from the Bellingham Circus Guild. The day’s events culminate at 5:00 p.m. with the incredible Tree Lighting Ceremony complete with the beautiful sounds of local carolers.

Twinkling lights on the trees are a beautiful part of the holidays in Fairhaven. Photo courtesy: Fairhaven Winterfest.

The aroma of hot apple cider, roasted chestnuts, cookies and mulled wine tantalize your senses as you are welcomed into local shops and restaurants to enjoy the Holiday Open House. “With all of these new additions, we have reached out to the business community as well as our neighbors and friends for their help in supporting Fairhaven Winterfest,” explains Ward.

In addition to volunteer support, the committee also hired a professional company to hang the lights on Fairhaven’s trees. “In the past, all of the lights were hung by a small group of volunteers,” says Di Reinsch, committee member and owner of 1 Paper Boat in Fairhaven. “We learned that the original volunteers, who are all gone now, simply cut the lights off the trees and threw them away at the end of the season. We knew there had to be a better way.”

The increased cost of buying new lights and hiring a professional to properly hang them was not anticipated by the Historic Fairhaven Association Board at the beginning of the year. As a result, the fundraising campaign “Light up Fairhaven” was put into action at the end of August.

Fairhaven Winterfest rings in the holiday season and features new events in 2017. Photo courtesy: Fairhaven Winterfest.

“The community support has been nothing short of fantastic,” says Ward. “We’ve earned $17,000 of the $20,000 needed.”

With more than 60 trees that will be lit between the end of November and the end of February, “Light Up Fairhaven” is more than just an impressive luminary display. It represents a community coming together to share the joy of the holidays.

First Federal is one of the largest contributors to date for “Light Up Fairhaven.” They will be supporting the main Village Tree Lighting adjacent to the Fairhaven Village Inn. The many other contributions, sponsorships and volunteer efforts along with the commitment of the Historic Fairhaven Association and the Winterfest Committee have made this Fairhaven Winterfest an extraordinary experience for all. Donations are still being accepted for this community-wide effort.

Be sure to come out, share your holiday wishes with Father Christmas, take a horse-drawn covered wagon ride and enjoy the hospitality and generosity of our local businesses during Fairhaven Winterfest. You are sure to experience the beauty of the season as you meander along the streets of Historic Fairhaven.

For more information, the complete calendar of events and supporting sponsor information, please visit the Fairhaven Winterfest website.

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