The window rolls up. The Christmas music begins playing. The car is warm and cozy. Finally, 20 minutes or so of quality family time, all while curving through a dazzling display of light! It’s a perfect night at WonderFEST, founded and created by the small nonprofit group Festival of Cheer! Now open for the season at Hudson Fields, the 7th annual fundraising event, featuring our award-winning Light Spectacular, will illuminate the skies each evening this holiday season thru Dec 31, 2022 from 5pm to 10pm! Yes, that includes Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas!
The mission of WonderFEST is simple – 100% of proceeds from this community-built event is contributed directly to the pockets of Sussex County nonprofits. And, that’s what makes WonderFEST unique – and a necessary event in Sussex County.
Organizers are always working to keep the Light Spectacular feel new! This season, the ALL NEW 3-D Experience will make WonderFEST’s Light Spectacular more fun than ever! Experience a Magical Winter Takeover with Special Snowmen Shades — turn every single light bulb into Snowmen along the show! Add on your magic glasses at the gate for $5 for a two pack of glasses! As always, all children under 10 will receive a free kid’s craft at the gate to enjoy after they get home!
An entirely new Santa Grand Finale will provide visitors with the BIGGEST Santa photo-op in Delaware at Santa’s Train Station. Also new this season: the Safari Exhibit! The whole family will love driving through a wild Jungle Safari featuring dozens of animals including giraffes, elephants, and even leaping antelopes! The Small Wonder Exhibit and Santa’s Workshop exhibits are back and as bright as ever.
Guests can purchase vehicle passes to pack the family in their own car and drive through the Light Spectacular. Additionally, our open-air wagon ride is back! Guests can purchase individual wagon ride tickets, and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and cookies for the ride!
With cost-savings infrastructure completely in place, this season’s festival ambitions are simple: increase the amount of grant funds available to the community, raise funds to purchase additional custom Light Displays, and prepare for the return of additional WonderFEST attractions in 2023.
Festival of Cheer is accepting grant applications through Dec. 15 for its Community Grant Cycle. Nonprofit organizations which operate in Sussex County can apply for a grant of $1,000-$5,000 to support the purchase of capital equipment! Recipients will be announced on Christmas Eve.
Since 2016, over $237,000 of community grants have been award to support over 27 local charities. From new tablets for community centers to musical equipment for theatrical venues to medical equipment for healthcare centers, this critically-needed equipment supports amazing charities that impact our communities!
Ticket information and volunteer sign-up information is available at wonderfestde.org.