Organizers judge first Winterfest a success, start planning for next year

Published 9:21 am Monday, December 20, 2021

SPENCER — Spencer’s inaugural Winterfest went off almost without a hitch this year.

Sherry Mason Brown, one of the organizers, was expecting some issues with power on the first night two weeks ago, but all the trees lit up fine. One thing organizers could not overcome, however, was nature; rain poured in on Saturday and cut off the planned finale on the stage outside.

Caroling hopes were dashed, but the show went on. The fire department said it would not be safe to continue with the on-stage events, but the town conveniently has a lot of empty space in freshly renovated leasable areas next to the new town hall at Park Plaza. So, the vendors moved inside to escape the rain and stayed for the evening.

“We were really able to really change on a dime and let the vendors come inside because we had the space beside the town hall,” Mason Brown said.

Everything else went to plan, with the first two weekends in December full of food, music, kids’ activities and Christmas spirit.

“Everybody seemed really happy and to be enjoying themselves,” Mason Brown said. “There were so many comments from people saying they feel like they were in a Hallmark movie and everybody loved the new town tree.”

Mason Brown said the vendors did well and were happy too. On the whole, she feels positive about the first year of what is intended to be an annual affair.

“I think it was a great success,” Kim Lentz, another organizer, said. “Our goal was to get people out and get people mingling with each other and having a good time. There were lots of people there, they were talking, they were eating, they were listening to the music they were having fun.”

Lentz said the organizers wanted to make an event that appealed to all age group so families could attend. They felt like they accomplished that.

Lentz said the event is looking for more vendors next year and she is looking forward to the idea of a new park on Park Plaza to complement the event.

The impetus behind Winterfest was to complement the Polar Express train ride happening at the N.C. Transportation Museum across the street. Lentz said it is a natural pairing and she hopes the town can do more to capitalize on the the draw of the museum in the future.