Hawley Winterfest 2015, December 11-13, 2015


The 17th Annual Hawley Winterfest arrives on Friday, December 11th with wintry fun activities planned through Sunday, December 13th. This three-day winter event is one of the most celebrated holiday festivals in Northeast Pennsylvania with many activities and fun things to do for the entire family.

Winterfest is a one-stop winter wonderland experience reminiscent of an old-fashioned Victorian Christmas. The quaint town of Hawley twinkles with cheer as people of all ages enjoy exploring this lovely town while participating in the many activities. This year’s celebration features many returning time-honored favorites. Festive fun and adventure are had by all, and residents and visitors are filled with good cheer as they celebrate this pre-holiday event.

Returning Favorites

When the words “Hawley Winterfest” come to mind, certain signature events are remembered and anticipated.  With a full itinerary set each day, people can plan on attending popular favorites such as the Virgin Consort, the holiday house tours, horse and carriage rides, author book signings, a holiday show at the Ritz Company Playhouse, the Annual Cookie Walk and Victorian Luncheon, the Winterfest Brunch at the Settlers Inn, and much more.

On Friday, the Virgin Consort presents an elegant blend of traditional and Victorian carols and Medieval and Renaissance sacred works sung by an ensemble of eight angelic voices. This year, the concert will take place at the Hawley United Methodist Church. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.

On Saturday, the Cookie Walk and Victorian Luncheon will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church on Church Street.  There will be over 5,000 handmade gourmet cookies and candies for sale, and a Victorian Luncheon will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Holiday House Tours run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The self-guided tour begins at Teeter’s Furniture, where an official tour map awaits you.  Get an inside look at some of the area’s gorgeous architectural gems during this one day only tour. This year, four beautiful homes will be adorned with festive decorations.  Some may feature delicious refreshments with holiday music playing in the background. Ticket prices are $20.

Also on Saturday, local authors of all genres will be at the Hawley Library for book signings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some authors making an appearance that afternoon include Clara Gillow Clark, Lindsay Barrett George, Christine San Jose, and others. Experience a memorable holiday tradition with horse and carriage rides from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. People board the carriages at Miss Elly’s Antiques on Church Street. These nostalgic rides bring to mind an old-fashioned Dickens style Christmas. The rides are $8 per person and weather permitting. In addition, wagon rides will also be available for $5 per person.

The holiday show at the Ritz Company Playhouse is always a popular event, and local actors present a fun show everyone loves.  Come in from the cold and into the historic theater Saturday and Sunday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. for this original children’s free holiday musical full of laughs and holiday spirit.  Children can anticipate a special visit from Santa after the show.

On Sunday, treat yourself to a special brunch at the Settlers Inn where delicious food and delicate live music provide an atmosphere of warmth and cheer. From 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., people can enjoy a holiday brunch featuring a classic menu of gourmet farm to table favorites while listening to soft, seasonal music. The brunch is $35 per person and reservations are required. Free Winterfest Shuttles will make continuous stops from one end of Hawley to the other on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. So park your car once and take the shuttle to all of the exciting activities throughout town. The shuttles loop through town roughly every fifteen minutes. The stops are listed in the Winterfest brochure.

Better Than Ever: New Events

Some new additions this year include the Winterfest Flyer on the Stourbridge Line, which is held Saturday and Sunday, and the Visit Lacawac Hike and Tour, taking place on Sunday.

During the Winterfest Flyer on the Stourbridge Line, people can enjoy a 40 minute, round-trip excursion down the Lackawaxen River in all its winter glory. The train will depart Hawley every hour on the hour until its return trip to Honesdale at 5 p.m.  The trips are $10 per adult and $5 per child. Call (570) 470-2697 for times and more details.

On Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., a naturalist-led hike allows festival goers the opportunity to tour Lacawac Sanctuary’s field station and event facilities. Discover our rich natural and cultural history. Arrive for coffee and tea before a one-mile hike to the historic lodge and then return for a home-style lunch. Reservations are required and this event is for people 12 years and up. Tickets are $20 per person and $35 per couple. For more information, call (570) 689-9494.

One of the things Winterfest is noted for is the variety of seasonal music and performances offered throughout the weekend.  For live holiday music during Winterfest, head to Harmony Presents in the Boiler Room at the Hawley Silk Mill, Glass Wine Bar and Kitchen, The Settlers Inn, Gresham’s Chophouse, Ehrhardt’s Pub, Hawley United Methodist Church for the popular Virgin Consort, held on Friday at 8 p.m., the Holiday Hand Bell Concert from 1 to 1:45 p.m. on Sunday at the Hawley United Methodist Church, Jinglebell Jazz at the Hawley Library on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jazz from a Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday at 4 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church, and much more. Refer to the Winterfest brochure or website for days and times. In addition, the free Annual Ritz Christmas Show is held Saturday and Sunday from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Also, don’t miss the popular Beer Tour, an adults-only newer event introduced several years ago.  There are 11 participating establishments including newcomers Just Rumors and Cove Haven Resort. The tour is available all weekend. Refer to the Winterfest brochure or website for a full listing of places, times and themes.

Check out the Cocoon Coffee House’s Ice Bar throughout the weekend where specialty cocktails will be served on handcrafted ice bars produced by Sculpted Ice Works. Complimentary samples will be available. On Friday, the bar is open from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Free Winterfest Shuttles will loop through town on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. So park your car once and take the shuttle to all of the exciting activities.  The shuttle will come by each stop approximately every 10 to 15 minutes. The stops are listed in the Winterfest brochure.

This is just a glimpse into the wintry world of Winterfest and all it has to offer.  For more detailed information, call the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center at (570) 226-2141 or pick up a Hawley Winterfest brochure at the Visitors Center or other area businesses. For a complete schedule of events and continuous updates, visit www.HawleyWinterfest.com or “Like” Hawley Winterfest on Facebook.

Hawley Winterfest is presented by the Downtown Hawley Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the high standard of living the community and tourists enjoy. For more information, visit www.visithawleypa.com.  The event is made possible through the generous contributions of local sponsors, donations, volunteers, participating residents and merchants, and The 2015 Winterfest Committee.