Light Up Winfield, Winfield’s Christmas celebration, is set for Dec. 7 from 6-8 p.m. on Main Street in the downtown block of the city.
“We light up our Christmas tree there at the intersection of Main Street We have a big evergreen tree and we put a few thousand lights on that, and light it up every year,” Winfield Mayor Ryan Ruckel said.
The tree will be in the lot across catty-corner to Elm Street.
Main Street itself will not be closed off, and most everything will be in the big parking lot where Pizza Plus used to be.
The event is completely free, nothing is allowed to be sold, but there will be booths with free activities.
There will also be food provided.
“We do allow some booths to be set up. Sometimes people will say they want to do a craft booth or want to do a snowman decorating contest or whatever and that’s fine but our biggest thing is Winfield’s event has to be 100 percent free. We don’t want anything to be sold,” Ruckel said.
Ruckel said that the city will be providing chili and hot chocolate for everyone in attendance.
“We have this huge candy booth set up where kids make what we call reindeer food but its really just make a great big bag of free candy. You get to go through and scoop stuff into your bag,” Ruckel said.
There will also be a stage set up. Last year, Fox 2 news anchor Sandy Brown, a Winfield resident, emceed the event.
“She’s pretty awesome. Her and her husband came out last year. She’s just such a friendly outgoing person that’s not shy so she did a really good job on stage getting everybody pumped up for it,” Ruckel said.
Another big part of Light Up Winfield is the characters that take to the streets.
“We always have characters running around. Last year we had a gingerbread cookie and a snowman and a Christmas tree and elves. Then we will have Santa and Mrs. Claus set up. That is a photo booth. Last year and probably this year, I believe, Redemption Road Church provides the photo booth and the photos,” Ruckel said. “We give every kid a photo and a free present. Every kid gets a free present.”
Light Up Winfield has been drawing some serious numbers the past few holiday seasons.
“It’s a big event. I think the last couple years were probably, if I had to guess, were probably in the 700, 800, 900 people range, which is big for our little town,” Ruckel said.
As far as musical entertainment goes, there will certainly be some, but at press time no acts were set in stone.
“I don’t know who exactly is on this year. Last year, I hope we have the same people as last year, the fifth grade choir always comes out and then we usually have the chamber choir from the high school. It depends on their schedule. And then we usually invite out the high school band. That’s kind of the purpose of the stage is to let the groups rotate through and get some elevation above the crowd,” Ruckel said.