The 19th annual Winterfest, a five-week Northwest holiday tradition, begins the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, and runs through Jan. 2, 2006 at the Seattle Center. Daily hours, including New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Christmas Eve hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival is closed Christmas Day.
Programs and events include ice-skating, concerts, dances, cultural performances, storytelling, poetry, special events, exhibits, the Holiday Train — which features a turn-of-the-century holiday train winding through a country village — and more.
Some of the special events at this year's festival include: Winterfest Worldfest (Nov. 25 through 27), a showcase of cultural holiday traditions from Thailand to Africa and more; Seattle's Best Jazz for the Holidays (Dec. 16), a special concert of the area's top jazz performers; the third annual Solstice Celebration (Dec.17 and 18); and A World Storyfest for Kids (Dec. 21 though 24). There will be returning traditions too, such as the Senior Holiday Ball (Dec. 5), dozens of school band and choral concerts and the climax of the holiday season, the New Year's Eve at Seattle Center fireworks spectacular.
The Sharing Gift Box makes the holidays happier for our neighbors in need by filling individual wishes and needs for low-income children, teens and seniors. Participants can browse and select specific wishes to fill online at seattlecenter.org. Starting Nov. 25, participants can pick up specific wish cards in Center House and return the gift(s) to Center House by Dec. 18.
Cash donations are also welcome at the Sharing Gift Box display in Center House, online at seattlecenter.org or by phone at 206-684-7345.
For additional information on Winterfest, call the Seattle Center, 206-684-7200.