Winterfest is back, and this year should be better than ever with the return of the snow slide, ice skating on Depot Plaza, arts and crafts tables, a costume contest, music, Santa Claus and more on Sunday, Dec. 2.
"The big news is the chamber is formally producing the event for the very first time," said Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Daniel Escalzo.
The chamber with the City of Mill Valley in September, which formalizes many existing arrangements and establishes clear goals and benchmarks to ensure the chamber stays on track in its revitalization efforts.
One of those deliverables includes hosting a holiday event, and Escalzo said the chamber has big plans for Winterfest, the city's 18-year-old signature holiday celebration, which has been an on-again, off-again affair in recent years.
"We're setting up the groundwork for a much more textured event for years to come," Escalzo said.
New this year will be several arts and crafts tables hosted by the Mill Valley Parks and Recreation Department and the Girl Scouts, which will be perfect for little kids.
Escalzo is also asking people to get into the spirit by dressing up and getting creative for a costume contest. Think nice coats, interesting hats, outfits for your pets, and whatever screams 'holiday cheer' to you.
Part of the idea is to encourage the community to visit local merchants around Mil Valley.
"I want to turn it into a really fun event not only just in the plaza, but throughout downtown," Escalzo said.
This year also features the return of the sledding ramp, which was put on hiatus after it collapsed in 2010, and continues with last year's addition of an ice-skating rink on Depot Plaza.
Music, of course, will play a main role with choir groups and young musicians including the Singers of Marin. Tony Tutto Pizza and Piazza D'Angelo - which has hosted Winterfest in the past - will provide holiday treats. Santa, of course, will arrive in an antique firetruck, followed by a tree lighting ceremony in the southwest corner of the plaza, and flipping the switch on more trees downtown.
The chamber is also committeed to encouraging businesses to decorate their windows, and plans to have everything in place by Dec. 2.
"We want downtown Mill Valley really lit up this year," Escalzo said. "We want the chamber to be a great inspirational force to get Mill Valley looking like a really gorgeous Christmas Carol town."
IF YOU GO:
- What: Mill Valley Winterfest
- When: Sunday, Dec. 2; 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Where: Depot Plaza, at Miller and Throckmorton avenues.
- Tickets: $3 for one, $10 for four, $20 for 10. Each Winterfest activity requires one ticket. Proceeds to benefit the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Programs.
- More Info: Visit www.millvalley.org or call 415.388.9700.