Report by Paula Antolini
November 27, 2016 1:02PM EDT
PHOTOS/100: Bethel Winterfest 2016, Keeping Warm with Soup and S’Mores!
The Bethel Chamber of Commerce Winterfest 2016 was held on Friday, November 25, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and onward, in P.T. Barnum Square and around town on Bethel’s Greenwood Avenue.
A few rain drops were felt during the day but it did not dampen the spirit of the growing crowd waiting for Santa’s arrival and the tree lighting.
The event began with a Baking Contest at the Bethel Chamber of Commerce followed by a bake sale sponsored by Cream and Sugar. Volunteers from Relay For Life were also on hand serving hot chocolate and other goodies inside Cream and Sugar, as a thank you for all the owners have done to help Relay For Life in the past.
At 1:30 p.m. the Horse Drawn Carriage Rides began, departing from the Gift Cottage , sponsored by Union Savings Bank . Soup donated by area restaurants was being served by Cub Scouts Pack 156 in front of the Gift Cottage and at P.T. Barnum Square.
S’mores Fire Pits were set up at P.T. Barnum Square at 2:30 p.m., sponsored by McCollam Insurance, Traveling Chic Boutique and Courtney Martin of Coldwell Banker .
A Holiday Record Spin by Damon Wade kept music in the air from 1:00 p.m. on and into the night, sponsored by Wade’s Piano Center . Yes, vinyl records are popular again, said Wade.
At 4:45 p.m. the Bethel High School (BHS) Choir, lead by Bethel High School choir teacher Karen Neville, performed a medley of holiday tunes and the crowd sang along . BHS Senior Alyssa Schneider sang a surprise solo of Oh Holy Night that was fabulous.
The choir was followed at 5:45 p.m by a holiday message from Bethel Chamber of Commerce Director Heather Hansen O’Neill and Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker. At 6:00p.m. the countdown began for the Tree Lighting, and the tree in the square is now all aglow.
Santa arrived at the square riding in the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department fire truck and children and families gathered around him to get a chance to talk and receive a treat of a candy cane.
VIEW PHOTOS BELOW of some of the festivities in P.T. Barnum Square and on Greenwood Avenue. (Click on all photos to view larger.)
Check back soon for video!
UPDATE November 29, 2016:
WINNERS of BAKING CONTEST Announced
Congratulations to our winners…
1st Place: Carolina Bartolleto
2nd Place: Chris Hoelck
3rd Place: Chrissy DeVellis
1st Place Youth: Noah Chrzescijanek
2nd Place Youth: Dylan Boniello
Message from Bethel Chamber of Commerce: Thank you Cream & Sugar Cafe and King Arthur Flour for sponsoring the competition. We appreciate Steven Gonzales, pastry chef of The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges, Steven Varano of Varano Bakery and Heather Hansen O’Neill (Find Your Fire in 5), the Director of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, who were excellent judges and had the pleasure of tasting many delicious cookies and bars baked by members of our community.
SHOP LOCAL! View of some of the local businesses who put the magic in the holidays in our town, with super holiday decorations:
…AND MANY MORE BUSINESSES! Shop Local!