Historic Smithville Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland of fun and holiday magic during the upcoming Winterfest celebration.
The festival of all things winter will be held at Smithville on Saturday, December 10, from 1 PM to 7 PM and will feature many of the wonderous sights and attractions that make it among the region’s most popular holiday activities.
“Smithville is beautiful all-year, but seeing it decorated with lights and garland is truly special and Winterfest is the perfect way to welcome the winter season and see the park in all its holiday splendor,” said Burlington County Commissioner Allison Eckel, the liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation and Parks.
Visitors to the park will marvel at the sights of the Victorian village and mansion decked out in holiday finery and the sounds of carolers dressed in Victorian attire performing favorite tunes, along with other free activities both indoors and outdoors throughout the park:
- Meet Santa in Victorian attire;
- See a performance of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol”;
- Marvel at ice sculptures being carved and a Blacksmith at work;
- Lace-up a pair of skates and take a lap around the synthetic ice-skating rink;
- Ride a classic Merry Go Round;
- Join the elf hunt and help Buddy the Elf gather his friends in the Mansion Maze so they can return to the North Pole in time for the holidays;
- Create a winter craft
- Find that special gift for someone in the Holiday Marketplace
- Grab a bite to eat from a food truck or warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and S’mores by the fire.
- And much more!
The event is free. Tours of Smithville Mansion will be held from 1 PM to 3:30 PM and there will be an open tea with sandwiches and desserts at the mansion between 1 PM and 3 PM. A nominal fee of $5 will be charged for tours and entry to the tea. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Smithville Mansion.
Winterfest will also feature the County’s annual Winter Juried Art Show in the Smithville Mansion Annex Gallery. The exhibit is always a highlight of the season. The show runs from December 1 to January 14.
In addition to being open during Winterfest, the gallery is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM and Sundays from noon to 4 PM.
The village of Smithville was originally known as Shreveville before being acquired by industrialist Hezekiah Bradley Smith in 1865. Smith renamed the village Smithville and transformed it into a thriving industrial town responsible for manufacturing cutting-edge woodworking machines, the famed American Star Bicycle and even the world’s first bicycle railroad.
Burlington County bought the village, Smith’s mansion and what remained of the H.B. Smith Machine Company factory in 1975 and remade it into Burlington County’s first park.
“Burlington County’s Park System is second to none and Smithville is one of its biggest and most popular assets,” Eckel said. “It may be our first County park but residents from across the region and beyond continue to discover it and rave about its unique blend of history and natural beauty. And the holidays are the perfect time to experience all that Historic Smithville has to offer.”