Strike the Set on 12th Night

Twelfth Night is a festival marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas, so every trace of Christmas is put away in PODS or downstairs in our basement lair. We're sad to say goodbye to Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, our actors and crew. However, we are hard at work planning exciting performances and displays to make 2013 Winterfest and the Elf Parade bigger and better than ever. 

Happy New Year!

Denise Chenel Daughtry
850 435-0914

Winterfest Awards

At the annual dinner on the last night of the Winterfest Performance Tours, actors and crew celebrated another great year. Special honors were given to our Navy friends who provided the volunteers. Over 2000 hours were donated by 30 workers during the event. Captain James Daniels accepted a commemorative plaque from John Niemeyer, Facilities Manager. 

Ed Pate, Winterfest Master of Ceremonies honored other participants. The Team Spirit Award went to Bob Whittaker, Chief of Operations and Christa Whittaker, Performance Tour director. Tiny Tim from the Scrooge stop was the "Junior Drama Star". Emily Mixon who played Miss Winterfest was named the "Red Trolley Repertory Theater Best Performer". Over thirty students from the Gulf Breeze High School Drama Department are performers at "Whoville and the Grinch" and the "Charlie Brown Christmas stops. The students entertain with a special show around the Christmas tree in the Palafox Plaza, as well as, scamper around at```1kk the "Reindeer Games". Margie Timmons is the director of the program. She received "The Most Valuable Player" award.

The "Polar Express" stop at the law office of Lisa Minshew is the highlight of the Winterfest Tour and sets the storyline for the trip. Two of the players at the stop are retiring this year. Angel Mitchell has been the "Hero Girl" since 2007. Joe Minshew began playing "the Boy" in 2004 when his was five years old. They both received a gold conductor's watch.

Along the route, honors were awarded for the "Best Individual Performance" to Stu Bonnin at the "Cajun Night Before Christmas". The "Best Overall Senior Group Performance" went to the Scrooge players. The "Best Youth Group Performance" accolades were given to "A Charlie Brown Christmas". The "Best Scenic Design" award was given to the "Polar Express" team. Elvis was the favored as having the "Outstanding Vocal Performance".

Thanks to all of you for making this the best Winterfest ever!

Denise Daughtry, President

Winterfest Entertains at Rotary

Stars of Winterfest entertained Rotary Club members at their annual Christmas luncheon. Frosty, Rudolph and the Chief Elf were greeters while
Miss Winterfest, the Angel, and Dave Daughtry sang songs from the production. Santa visited children of Club members by the Christmas tree. We enjoyed a delicious luncheon and spread Winterfest cheer.

Thanks for Being Part of Winterfest!

Winterfest has so much to be thankful for in 2012! It's been a banner year for our charter and parking fundraising projects. We've met a bunch of great folks parking in our lots at Wahoo games and Civic Center events, and those parking donations support over 50% of our festival budget and make it possible for us to invent new and exciting adventures. We're so grateful for our guests who've made Winterfest a part of their holiday traditions year after year.

Most of all we give thanks for our tireless team of performers and volunteers who support our activites year-round with over 10,000 hours of their time. We really couldn't do it without their help.

Join us at the Elf Parade tomorrow to see Santa's new sleigh pulled by our full team of reindeer. Help our guest of honor Tony make the first wish of Christmas. Then we'll light up the plaza and start the snow as we kick off the Christmas season in song. The first 100 elves get free tickets to see The Polar Express at the Saenger Theater at 6:30.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cajun Night Before Christmas

Even in Florida the spirit of the bayou can be discovered. Louisiana native, Dr. Stu Bonnin who is a pediatric dentist with offices on East Olive Road in Pensacola, recites a special version of the Clement Moore's, "Night Before Christmas" for Winterfest visitors. In Trosclair's version, alligators with names like Gaston, Pierre and Suzette pull Santa's pirogue through the water.

Clovis, the Crawfish joins Gaston, the alligator along the Winterfest tour route.  Watch for a very special appearance by Cajun Santa who is dressed in muskrat and burlap.

"A Christmas Story" at Winterfest

We "double dog dare" you to join Ralphie and friends for a snow fight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:00 - 9:00 at light post 34 on Zaragossa Street in Seville Square. Participants ten and under may take part in the school yard scene from the movie classic. Wear your winter gear and prepare for a unique snow experience with Winterfest's new snow machine, the Blizzard. Be part of the action as the trolleys pass the performance stop every fifteen minutes.

But be careful not to get your tongue stuck to the pole.

Denise Chenel Daughtry
850 435-0914

The Great Cookie Contest

The Pensacola News Journal and Pensacola Hardware are sponsoring a "Great Holiday Cookie Contest". Winterfest is participating by supplying some of the judges, including Santa who has sampled more cookies than anyone else in the world. Do you have a secret recipe for the perfect Christmas cookie? Here's your chance to show Santa that you have the right stuff. He'll be watching and checking for the tastiest sample. Your reward could be a $100 Pensacola Hardware gift certificate or a $50 certificate for the People's Choice Award. Along with Santa, lucky passengers on Saturday night, December 17th will be the judges. See contest details listed below.

Santa addresses Country Commission

Santa visited Escambia Country Commissioners at their final meeting before the holidays. He thanked Commissioners and staff for their invaluable support since 2004. The Winterfest Festival has been held at the restored County Courthouse building and in the adjacent plaza since 2009. In addition to providing Winterfest with a home, the County contributed funds and equipment, giving the project a head start. Frosty, Rudolph and Elf John passed out goodies to the assembled dignitaries.