TAYLOR — The city will welcome in the holiday season during its annual Winterfest Nov. 25. The celebration will include the first-ever Winterfest 5K, holiday parade, opening of Santa’s Magic Forest, Fill the F-350 Toy Drive, official tree lighting celebration and fireworks display.
The Taylor Winterfest is presented by Taylor Ford. Other major sponsors and contributors are 100.3 WNIC Detroit, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Masco, Wade Trim and Taylor Chevrolet.
Admission to the Winterfest is free. Food and refreshments will be available at for a reasonable cost.
The day kicks off with the “Whoville”-themed Winterfest 5K, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield. The Winterfest 5K will be held at 2 p.m., starting at the Heritage Park Petting Farm before the runners make their way down Pardee Road to Goddard, eventually on the streets of neighborhoods in the City Hall area, and then back toward the Heritage Park. The race begins and finishes at the Petting Farm.
The event features custom Winterfest 5K beanies and gloves for all participants, medals, age group awards, costume contest with awards, overall top male and female finish awards, bib tag timing by Everal and a Christmas treat.
Entry fees are $30 before Nov. 24. Registration will be $35 on the day of the race. Race day packet pickup is scheduled to being at noon on Nov. 25.
Proceeds from the run will benefit the Downriver Fish & Loaves Food Pantry. Race coordinators will also be accepting donations of canned goods during race day packet pickup.
The entire day is one of family fun. After the 5K run, the Winterfest Parade, sponsored by Masco and featuring marching bands, floats and many organizations, will travel from City Hall to the Heritage Park’s Sheridan Center Open Air Pavilion. Once there, crowds will be entertained by music and various activities.
SANTA’S MAGIC FOREST
The official opening of Santa’s Magic Forest will take place, Downriver’s premiere Christmas display is housed in the Heritage Park Activities Building using many of the former J.L. Hudson displays that bring the season to life. Tickets are $3 per person and photos with Santa are $8.
TREE LIGHTING AND FIREWORKS
Eventually, the official Christmas Tree (housed in the Sheridan Center all winter), will be lit by Mayor Rick Sollars and his special guest for the day, Santa Claus. The tree lighting is sponsored by Wade Trim. The Taylor Chevrolet Fireworks will cap off the evening.
TOY DRIVE AND DRAWING
The Fill the F-350 Toy Drive will be ongoing throughout the day’s activities. Anyone donating a toy to the campaign will receive a chance at a drawing for four free tickets to “Elf the Musical” at Fox Theater in Detroit. The donated toys will eventually be distributed by the Taylor Goodfellows.
Parking is free. Goddard and Pardee roads will be closed off and on during the entire day due to the Winterfest 5K and parade. Those attending the festivities in Heritage Park should use the Northline Road entrance, and park in any of the lots inside the park. The Pardee Road entrance, and the adjacent parking lot, along with the Taylor Community Library lot, will be inaccessible.