Winterfest opens Nov. 29

Ice skating, fire pit, s'mores and more
Nov. 27, 2013 @ 12:28 PM

A winter wonderland is coming to downtown Thomasville this holiday season.
Winterfest, a collaboration between two local businesses to create the ultimate holiday experience, kicks off Friday, Nov. 29.
People can spin around a skating rink or sit by a fire roasting s'mores with loved ones on a cool winter night in the middle of downtown Thomasville.
"We want to bring something special to the people of Thomasville," said Winterfest coordinator Jennifer Tuttle. "This is the something the entire family can enjoy and is a great to enjoy the holiday spirit."
Winterfest is the creation of businessmen Mike Tuttle and Chris Thompson, owners of Institutional Insurance and Southern Sisters, respectively. Both felt the Chair City would welcome a downtown holiday extravaganza that could bring the Christmas spirit to Main Street.
Their wives, Joy Thompson and Jennifer Tuttle, took the idea and ran with it. 
"This is something to bring business to downtown Thomasville and offer this exciting thing to our town," Tuttle said. "[Mike and Chris] just got to talking about it and what it could do and we all just kind of took it from there."
The Thomasville Parks & Recreation tennis courts on W.Main Street will transform into a synthetic skating rink large enough to support up to 50 people. Sprinkle of Sugar Bakery will bake an edible 12-foot-high gingerbread house, straight from a fairy tale. The fire pit for s'mores will be close by. A tree lot still is in the works.  
"We thought it was crazy at first but we kept talking about it and thinking about it," Joy Thompson said. "Mike and Jennifer really have the same passion as we do that we want to see the city grow and have wonderful things for families to do together. Our vision is to have families come down, pick out a tree, go ice skating, roast s'mores and take pictures in front of the gingerbread house. The whole experience."
Winterfest runs through Dec. 29 and will open every week night from 4 to 8 p.m. Weekend hours are from 10 a.m.to 8 p.m.  Saturdays and from 2 to 8 p.m.  Sundays. Admission is $10 per person and includes skate rental. Winterfest is available for parties, gatherings and fundraising events.
The opening weekend will feature a 30-foot high inflatable ski slope people can tube down.
"Greensboro last year reported they had 30,000 people visit their ice rink," said Thompson. "If we could just get a small percentage of that, we would be absolutely thrilled that that many people came to visit our wonderful city."
For more information, call Jennifer Tuttle at 407-0579 or visit thomasvillewinterfest.com.   

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.