Holiday season kicks off in Cleveland with Winterfest, tree lighting and fireworks

Holiday season kicks off in Cleveland with Winterfest, tree lighting and fireworks
Winterfest package (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - "Hello Cleveland!" Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced to the crowd of thousands. "I want to welcome everyone to Winterfest 2019, Public Square, downtown Cleveland."

Winterfest package

And Josh and Maria Cribbs of Channel 19's "Cribbs in the C-L-E" used their banter to fire up the crowd.

"This what it means to be all about Cleveland," Josh told the crowd.

"It doesn't matter how cold it is," Maria continued. "We got this!"

And just after six o'clock, 130,000 GE bulbs lit a 50-foot spruce on Public Square followed by a ten-minute fireworks display enjoyed by generations.

"We're just starting a new holiday tradition, coming downtown for the holiday lighting," says Mike Lougen of Ravenna. "Awesome display -- love it." "I came out because my family, my grandchildren asked me to come out and so we making this a family festivity," says Ella Wright of Cleveland.

It’s the 39th year for Winterfest, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance producing it since 2006, also producing an economic benefit for downtown.

"As you can see, downtown is animated, people are spending money, and it has great economic benefit for us," says Alliance President and CEO Joe Marinucci.

Thousands turned out for Winterfest and the festivities on Public Square continue even after the festivities ended with the ice rink officially opening for the season as part of Winterfest.

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