Winter Fest comes to Ritzville once a year, and serves as the kickoff to all holiday events within the community.
In keeping with tradition, the 2021 festivities will being with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on the front lawn of the Ritzville Public Library. Carols will be led by our local high school band, and there will even be an appearance from Santa!
The event will also be streamed on Facebook Live through the Ritzville Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. The event will take place on Friday, December 3, at 5:30 p.m.
This year, community members are being asked to decorate ornaments to be hung on the Christmas tree in order to celebrate our community and bring some extra holiday cheer back to Ritzville, especially after a couple long years.
This year, a new event will join our Winter Fest roster with the addition of the Outdoor Market "Festival of Lights" on December 3 from 4-7 p.m. This shopping event is coordinated by local community member Dede Boyer. If you are interested in having a booth at the event (free of charge), please call Dede at 509-655-1870.
On December 4, head over to the Ritzville Grade School for the largest holiday shopping event of the season! The Holiday Bazaar will attract vendors from across the region, and the event runs from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. There will be Santa photos and food available for purchase as well.
After your shopping outing, head on down to The Ritz Theatre for the annual Children's Movie Matinee at 2 p.m. This year's movie will be "The Grinch" and admission is provided free of charge, thanks to donations. After the movie, the Ritzville Volunteer Firefighters will deliver Santa and treat bags to all of those in attendance!
On Saturday, December 18, bring the whole family for an afternoon for FREE fun for all ages!
The day's events start with Fly In Santa, where Santa will arrive via helicopter at the local school district. Drive down Candy Cane Lane, entering by Lind-Ritzville High School, and receive treats from local emergency responders before getting to talk to the man in red himself!
Fly In Santa is sponsored by Lind-Ritzville Cooperative Schools and East Adams Rural Healthcare.
Then head over to the Ritzville City Park before 3:30 p.m. for the first Ornament Hunt, hosted by the Ritzville Chamber! Compete as individuals or as a group. Everyone leaves a winner, as each ornament will have a prize attached! This event is open for all ages.
At 4:30 p.m., the Lighted Parade will take to the streets, starting at Gilson Gymnasium before weaving into the downtown business district. The HE Gritman Senior Center in downtown Ritzville will be hosting a Chili Feed and Bake Sale, so make sure to stop in before the start of the parade!
This year's Lighted Parade them is "Hometown Christmas" and welcomes each entrant to come up with a float unique to their holiday traditions.
Winter Fest continues with virtual contests, and prizes will be awarded in each event!
The Virtual Gingerbread House Contest is open to all ages. Entries must be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos of the creator and the house must be emailed, as well as a photo of just the gingerbread house.
Each photo of the entries will be uploaded to Facebook, and the house with the most "likes" will receive a prize! Entries must be submitted by December 18.