NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — With the canceling of Nauticus’ Dickens’ Christmas Towne due to the pandemic, a new holiday tradition is about to hit Hampton Roads next month — “WinterFest on the Wisconsin.”
The Battleship Wisconsin decks will be transformed into a holiday experience for six-weeks beginning November 21 and lasting until New Year’s Eve. Included in the decorations will be over 250,000-holiday lights, a 25-foot-tall Christmas tree, and animatronic elves.
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“This six-week waterfront spectacular will be produced on the USS Wisconsin, and families will have a chance to explore the most extensive light display ever created aboard a historic battleship. Lighted sailboat parades on the Elizabeth River, live entertainment, and holiday vignettes below deck are all part of the experience,” said Nauticus officials in a statement released Thursday.
Winterfest on the Wisconsin will feature a holiday light trail along the decks of the battleship with special tree lighting ceremonies each night.
A projection system will cast holiday images across the ship’s hull, and each Saturday evening Santa Claus will arrive by boat after the lighted sailboat parade.
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Officials say that the festivities were created as a way to celebrate the Hampton Roads community and also pay tribute to the men and women who continue to keep our country safe, especially during the pandemic.
“Perhaps most notably, the Battleship Wisconsin is a symbol of this country’s resilience and resolve,” said Nauticus executive director, Stephen E. Kirkland. “That makes it the perfect venue upon which to celebrate the season after a tremendously challenging year.”
The event is produced by Nauticus and presented by GEICO Military.
“GEICO Military is proud to partner with Nauticus and present Winterfest on the Wisconsin in celebration of our military and veteran communities,” said Brian Schlicht, representing GEICO’s Military Assistance Team. “Our collective goal is to bring some joy and create some lasting family memories.”
For more information regarding Winterfest on the Wisconsin, visit nauticus.org. Watch the video here.
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