Sandy’s Winterfest Shines Bigger and Brighter
By Ty Walker
Come bask in the glow of Winterfest lights all holiday season long in Sandy’s Meinig Park. The second annual festive event promises bigger and brighter things this year, shining nightly from Dec. 1 through Jan. 2, with special events planned throughout December.
It all gets started with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. Join the jolly gathering around the tree in Centennial Plaza. Standing 40 feet tall, the tree is 15 feet taller than last year.
Everyone is invited to visit with Santa, eat cookies, drink cocoa and listen to carolers from Sandy High School perform. Watch as the lights illuminate the tree at Meinig Park.
“We see no reason why Sandy cannot be the premier go-to place for people in the Portland metro area, especially the side communities, to come and visit, shop, dine and enjoy the holidays here in Sandy as they go up and down Mount Hood.” Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam said. “Obviously, for our local neighbors here in Sandy, it’s an incredible opportunity for them as well.”
Pulliam’s daughter, Lucy, deserves the credit for the origin of Winterfest. The idea of lighting up Meinig Park for the holidays came to her five years ago at age seven. She was walking through the park with her family and she thought how neat it would be if it were decorated with Christmas lights. She introduced her idea in front of the Sandy City Council and a few years later, in 2022, Winterfest was born.
This year, the lights will stay on from 4 to 9 p.m. every night for the whole family to enjoy. Special free community events are scheduled throughout Winterfest as well.
Get your family and pet pictures taken with the Grinch from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Visit the animals at the petting zoo and enjoy holiday treats.
Listen to holiday readings from the Snow Queen 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Hear music from the Sandy High School Band and Choir, and create a holiday craft.
Bring your Christmas stockings and take a stroll through downtown Sandy from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. Stop at participating businesses to fill your stocking with treats.
Come see beautiful holiday performances by Estampa Mexicana from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. Visit and take your picture with Santa. Drop off your letters.
All aboard! Jump on The Jolly Trolley and go for a ride through some of Sandy’s best decorated neighborhoods and parks from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18. Meeting place to be determined.
Go on a scavenger hunt through the decorated Meinig Park from 6 to 7:30 Saturday, Dec. 21. Make stops at all of the City of Sandy’s civic departments.
Enjoy drinks, food, and the last of the lights. This is a 21-and-over event from 6 to 7:30 Saturday, Dec. 28. Winners of the Merry Makeover Challenge will be announced.
Tree Lighting: Friday, Dec. 1
Pet Pictures with the Grinch: Saturday, Dec. 2
Evening with the Snow Queen: Saturday, Dec. 9
Stocking Stroll through downtown Sandy: Friday, Dec. 15
Estampa y Santa: Saturday, Dec. 16
Jolly Trolley Ride: Monday, Dec. 18
Shortest Day Walkway: Thursday, Dec. 21
Holiday Happy Hour: Thursday, Dec. 28
For more information on the special events, go to the City Of Sandy website at www.ci.sandy.or.us.