MXO ‘The Arts Unplugged’:Downtown Cleveland Winterfest Gets Reimagined For 2020!, Posted November 17th 2020

Winterfest commences on Saturday, November 28, at 7 p.m. with a special broadcast of the Holiday Lighting Ceremony, exclusively on WKYC-3.

Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) invites all to experience the magic of the holidays in Downtown Cleveland during its annual Winterfest celebration. Presented by The K&D Group, Winterfest commences on Saturday, November 28, at 7 p.m. with a special broadcast of the Holiday Lighting Ceremony, exclusively on WKYC-3.

Hosted by broadcast personalities Mark Nolan and Jasmine Monroe, the primetime Winterfest lighting show includes appearances by Mayor Frank Jackson, DCA’s Joe Marinucci, the Singing Angels, recording artist AC Jones and the jolly man in red who will delight viewers of all ages. It will also feature a countdown to the lighting installation on Public Square via the May Company building’s restored pediment clock.

Winterfest will continue throughout the season with a variety of interactive happenings made possible by partners across Downtown Cleveland. Participants will experience special events and exciting attractions – from light shows and carriage rides to ice skating and virtual visits with Santa – while creating new holiday traditions and memories with loved ones in a safe, socially distant manner.

Highlights of Winterfest 2020 happenings include:

Holiday Light Shows – Public Square

Nov. 28 – Jan. 3, 4:00 p.m. to midnight

Following the Winterfest Holiday Lighting Ceremony on November 28, locals are invited to stop by Downtown Cleveland’s Public Square to enjoy the animated light and sound shows at their leisure. The complimentary displays will activate three times per hour between 4 p.m. and midnight each day for all to take in.

Horse & Carriage Rides – Public Square

Free Rides: Saturdays, Nov. 28 – Dec. 19; $40 Ticketed Rides: Select dates, Nov. 28 – Jan. 2

Advance reservations required via Eventbrite for both free and ticketed rides

Saddle up for one of Downtown Cleveland’s favorite Winterfest traditions! On a first come, first served basis, enjoy free horse and carriage rides in Public Square, courtesy of First National Bank & Medical Mutual of Ohio, on Saturdays between November 28 and December 19. Ticketed scenic evening rides operated by Carriages of Cleveland may also be reserved online for select dates.

Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink – Public Square

Nov. 28 – Jan. 10; Timed tickets available for advance purchase online

The Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink is open throughout the holiday season. Bring the whole family to Public Square between November 28 and January 10 to ice skate in Downtown Cleveland’s premier outdoor space. All state and city social distance guidelines will be followed, and masks are required for all skaters.

Virtual Visits with Santa – via Zoom

Saturdays, Nov. 28, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, 11:00 a.m.; Zoom registration via Eventbrite required

Have no fear, kids! Santa is safe and healthy and will be ready to Rock n’ Roll come Christmas Eve. Ahead of this all-important eve, kids and their families are invited to dial in for a special Zoom visit with Santa from the North Pole where he and his elves will share stories, chat with attendees, pose for selfies and lead a Christmas Sing-Along.

Saturday Night Lights – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Saturdays in December, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Enjoy extended weekend hours at Cleveland’s iconic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame while exploring socially distanced, family friendly outdoor events, including live music, food and drink specials, holiday shopping, museum access and other fun holiday activities for all ages.

Winter Riverfest – Merwin’s Warf

Nov. 27 – Jan. 18, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

See Rivergate Park and Merwin’s Wharf transformed into a winter wonderland along the Cuyahoga River in The Flats during this new holiday event, presented by MTD. Enjoy ice skating, festive light displays, a beer garden and firepits, retail shopping and an igloo village.

For a complete list of Downtown Cleveland holiday events and experiences, ideas to explore Downtown’s culinary scene and opportunities to shop local, please visit

All Downtown Cleveland Alliance Winterfest events and experiences will be conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines and are subject to change based on city and state mandates.

Downtown Cleveland Alliance‘s mission is to make Downtown Cleveland the region’s most dynamic place to live, work, play and visit. Our vision is to create a vibrant, diverse, and equitable city center by attracting businesses, residents, and talent; enhancing the pedestrian experience; and securing future investment into Downtown Cleveland through strategic initiatives and advocacy efforts.