November 23 through January 12: The First Annual Chesapeake City WINTERFEST: Chesapeake City’s month-long Victorian Christmas celebration takes place on both sides of the C&D Canal with a blizzard of holiday lights and spectacular lighted displays along the waterfronts. The boats of summer are tucked away and the basin becomes a Holiday Harbor where Santa will arrive (November 25) aboard his water-borne sleigh, ready to hear the wishes of good little boys and girls on Saturday nights in Pell Gardens, throughout the season. Come see the lights. Listen to the carolers. See the beautifully decorated homes and porch decorating competition. Listen to holiday music in Pell Gardens. Visit the quaint shops and celebrate the season in world-renowned restaurants while in town. Winter-warming beverages and holiday bites are available at Hot Chocolates, a charming stop by the waterfront next to Pell Gardens. The C&D Canal Museum offers special Saturday hours for the holiday season, too. Transport service from outer parking lots on weekends. More info: Contact Town Hall: 410-885-5298; www.chesapeakecity.com.
SCHEDULE OF WINTERFEST EVENTS November 23: The lights are officially turned on at dusk, on both sides of the Canal, heralding the start of Winterfest Celebrations. Lighting displays include: A Victorian Ice Skating Scene with eight skaters and a Victorian fountain on display at Beck’s Landing; Two Victorian figures and their Royal Carriage (28-ft x 15-ft!) will be on display behind Franklin Hall above Pell Gardens; the largest of all the displays, a Christmas Galleon(26-ft x 20-ft), an animated Holiday Dragon (40-ft x 12-ft) and Santa in a Fishing Boat (24-ft x 19-ft) and a Rockfish (6-ft x 4-ft) will be displayed from the bulkhead of the Army Corps of Engineers; alongside the Canal Creamery (which turns into a haven for Hot Chocolate and Cider for the holidays) will be the Victorian Caroling Family of four lifesize figures holding holiday music books. The North side of Chesapeake City will host a bushel of animated bigger than life crabs along Lock Street and at the North side’s town dock.
EVERY NIGHT: These exciting Christmas Scenes will be visible every night from November 23 until January 12. All displays are illuminated with LED bulbs. The collections of large lighted figures and scenes are designed and created by Mosca Designs of Richmond, Virginia. Lighting and decorating enthusiasts can also tour the town on both sides to see the local homes vying for prizes in the outdoor decorating and porch decorating competition. Participating restaurants are offering Winterfest Specials.
EVERY SATURDAY until Christmas: Santa Claus will be in Pell Gardens to talk with visiting children and believers of all ages from 11AM until 5PM. Bring a non perishable food item to Pell Gardens for the Chesapeake City Ecumenical Association as you visit Santa. Shops will be open late.. Bands from area schools will perform holiday concerts at dusk. A Dickens-style afternoon Victorian Tea is offered at Inn At The Canal on Bohemia Avenue (410-885-5995). A free shuttle from the parking lot under the Chesapeake City Route 213 Bridge is available from 4:30PM to take visitors around town and across the bridge to the north side of the canal , to Schaefers Restaurant and to view the lights from another vantage point.
EVERY SUNDAY until Christmas: See Mrs. Santa Claus at Pookie Poo’s on Bohemia Avenue.
Schaefer’s Restaurant & Canal Bar
Chesapeake Inn Restaurant & Marina • Ship Watch Inn Bed & Breakfast
Bayard House Restaurant • Carter Family • Chick’s • Walls Family • Wells Family
Carpenter’s Auto • Chesapeake City Civic Association • D3 Corp. • Geracimos Family
Old Gray Mare • Zach Phipps Electric • Blue Max Inn • Brantwood Liquors
Serenity Salon & Spa • Howard & Dean, Inc. • Hutton Builders • Inn at the Canal
Ron Francis Family • Law Offices of Thomas Yeager • Cecil Guardian *
Town of Chesapeake City
Photos by Richard LeGates