Winterfest to take place in Council Bluffs’ Bayliss Park on Nov. 18

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (KMTV) — The City of Council Bluffs announced, in a news release, plans for Winterfest at Bayliss Park 2022.

The event will be hosted on Friday, November 18, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Once again, the City of Council Bluffs is partnering with The Council Bluffs Public Library, The 712 Initiative, Union Pacific Museum, and Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment (PACE) to deliver the Council Bluffs holiday tradition.

“Winterfest is our annual tree lighting ceremony in Bayliss Park,” said Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh. “What started as a simple countdown in 2014 has become a one-of-a-kind festival of winter activities.”

The main event at Winterfest is the Bayliss Park Lighting Ceremony. At 6:00 p.m., Santa Claus and Mayor Walsh will lead the crowd in a song of Jingle Bells followed by a countdown, after which Bayliss Park will light up with more than 40,000 twinkle lights and the celebrations will begin.

Santa Claus will report to his new-and-improved workshop, where kids and families can sit with Santa, tell him their wishes, and take pictures. Each child that visits Santa will receive a special jingle bell necklace.

PACE is hosting an arts and crafts station at Winterfest as well as two local ice sculptors carving holiday masterpieces in real-time.

The Council Bluffs Public Library is bringing real reindeer into Bayliss Park and offering reindeer-themed arts, crafts, and literacy festivities.

Union Pacific Museum will have a snowy light show on their building and give light-up jewelry to children.

The Salvation Army brass ensemble will fill the air with the sounds of the season as they perform live on the corner of Willow Avenue and Pear Street. The Salvation Army also provides free hot chocolate at Winterfest.

Additional free activities include face painting, balloon art, letters to Santa, crafts, multiple holiday photo cutouts, and an outdoor screening of the classic “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The 712 Initiative is hosting the Makers Village, offering the opportunity to shop unique handmade holiday gifts from more than 20 local vendors in a pop-up market on Pearl Street. Various food trucks will line Pearl Street, making concessions available for purchase.

Guests are encouraged to arrive early as the lighting ceremony will take place promptly at 6 p.m. The first 1,000 guests will receive a commemorative Winterfest at Bayliss Park tote bag.

“We hope you can join us for the moment Bayliss Park transforms into a wonderland and stay awhile to shop, dine, and enjoy the celebrations,” said Mayor Walsh.

All Winterfest activities are free to the public. Items from the food truck and Makers Village will be available for purchase.


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