Winter Festival Cloverdale

From last year's Winter Festival

Downtown Cloverdale will be home to fourth annual winter festival, Dec. 7 

The weather is beginning to shift and there’s a morning chill in the air — the holidays are near. To get people in the holiday spirit, the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Cloverdale Lions Club and the County of Sonoma will be hosting the fourth annual Cloverdale Winter Festival and Holiday Tree Lighting.

The festival will take place on Dec. 7 and will include a myriad of wintertime activities for people of all ages.

“Santa is going to come to the Plaza on a fire engine,” said Neena Hanchett, director of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce. “Provided it doesn’t rain, we’ll have some music — either a quartet or quintet from the Healdsburg Community Band. We’re going to have gingerbread cookie decorating in the Plaza … We’ll have vendors at the ‘North Pole,’ which is the vacant lot right next to Plank. There will be tents, festive decorations, lighting, all that kind of fun stuff.” 

The vendors will be selling crafts — mittens, hats and other similar items — as well as small bites from some local nonprofits.

Hanchett still wants to encourage local businesses who may not be vendors to stay open for the festivities. Even if businesses don’t do retail, she suggested staying opening and doing something else like giving out cider or having crafts for kiddos.

There are two slight changes to this year’s festival from last year. The first being increased street closure.

“We’re blocking off First Street down to Third Street,” said Hanchett. “There were so many people last year (in the streets) that I was worried about people getting hurt. So we’re blocking off the street. Last year there were people from all over. It’s a small town kind of thing, and there’s a lot of charm and a lot of people like that. I love that people can bring their kids downtown and buy a bite to eat.”

Second, the Lions Club will have a small area devoted to buying Christmas trees. Local cheerleaders will be on hand to help people with their trees. While trees are usually sold elsewhere in town, Hanchett is hoping that having them at the festival will be another addition to Cloverdale’s winter traditions.

For Hanchett, the best part of the festival is the way the city looks: “All of the lamp posts are decorated,” she said. “It’s amazing, it’s the holidays personified. It gets you in the spirit.”

Now in its fourth year, the winter festival is still evolving. What started with a tree lighting has evolved into a full-blown festival, full of light, music and holiday cheer.

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