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Winterfest kicks off holiday season

The popular Bremerton Winterfest is expanding.

Angelique Heinrich of Flowers D’Amour said to expect many of the same familiar events and activities as in years past, only a little more.

“We’ve included the Manette area and the Callow arts district area,” Heinrich said. “There will be more entertainment on the streets, more church groups singing.”

The event takes place from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 in various areas of the city, including the Downtown Arts District, Bremerton Harborside, Manette, Evergreen Park and the historic Charleston District on Callow Avenue.

“It is going to be an all-city event with more participants,” Heinrich said.

She expects about 1,000 people will come and take part in the festivities but that it is hard to get a solid estimate because the festival is so spread out.

The festival marks the arrival of Santa Claus in Bremerton for the holiday season and coincides with the monthly First Friday Artwalk. Santa will take part in the tree-lighting ceremony that will begin at 5:30 p.m. The jolly old elf is scheduled to arrive aboard a truck from the Bremerton Fire Department at 6 p.m.

The Bremerton High School Knights Marching Band and drill team will also be on-hand to perform holiday favorites along Fourth Street and Pacific Avenue to prepare for the big guy’s coming. DJ Bob Winters will add to the musical celebration, leading a holiday-theme sing-a-long.

“We’ve been doing it about 15 years and it’s been getting more and more popular every year,” said Carol Atkinson, executive director of the Bremerton Main Stream Association. “After Santa lights the tree, he goes into the Fourth Street Building (old City Hall) and children can get free photos taken with Santa. We had about 200 photos given away last year and we keep shooting them as long as we have film.”

Atkinson said whether more people or less come out for the festivities all depends on the weather.

“Over the years, we’ve had rain, we’ve had snow, we’ve had sleet and slush and wind,” she said. “You always have to just wait and see.”

Heinrich feels positive about Mother Nature’s cooperation in recent memory.

“Sometimes it has been really gloomy and dreary leading up to the start and it has all just been cleared up ... like a fairy waving her magic wand just in time,” she said.

Sponsors of the event include the City of Bremerton, the Bremerton Main Stream Association, Downtown Bremerton Associ-ation, Manette Merchants Association, and the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce.

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