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Winterfest kicks off holiday season in Cleveland: what to expect

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Downtown Cleveland as Winterfest kicks off the...
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Downtown Cleveland as Winterfest kicks off the holiday season.(Katie Tercek)
Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 3:08 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Cleveland thanks to Winterfest.

“Winterfest is the official kick off of the holidays in Cleveland,” Sanaa Julien, the CEO of Group Plan Commission, said.

Thousands of people are expected to head to Winterfest this holiday season.

“We have Santa here every Saturday and Sunday. Free photos for the kids, free hot cocoa,” Julien said.

“The night before Christmas, December 24th, for those of you who remember Mr. Jingling, he’s going to be reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Inside the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, you’ll find a unique Santa.

He doesn’t wear the typical red suit. Donned in stars and stripes, he’s known as Patriotic Santa.

He pays homage to an 1862 etching by Thomas Nast in “Harper’s Weekly,” which he said is the foundation for the representation of “Santa Clause” today.

“No matter how Santa is dressed, always remember that the nation you live in, you have the freedom to choose what you want to be,” Patriotic Santa said.

The ice rink in Public Square is open until Jan. 17th.

Click here for the Winterfest activity schedule.

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