By Seth Daniel
With the chill in the air, the colored lights blinking – and even the simulated snow – the SoWa Winter Festival was a hand’s down success last year, and organizers are ready to build on that and bring the holiday shopping market and good time into the regular lexicon of Boston’s overall celebration.
Taking place at the SoWa Art and Design District in the South End, the festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday this year, Dec. 2 and 3.
The SoWa Festival will take place throughout the entire district campus, going from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 2, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 3.
“Even though we have other markets in the summer and fall, the Winter Festival has a completely different feel,” said Bradley St. Amand of GTI Properties. “We want to bring in the neighborhood and those from outside the city to celebrate the holiday spirit. It’s something to help the businesses and the vendors and also something the public acan really enjoy. You always see a lot of people from the neighborhood but we do expect to also bring in a lot of people from outside the city. It’s a great place to do your holiday shopping.”
Aida Villarreal, director of arts and events at SoWa, said they hope to make the Winter Festival a staple of the holiday season in the city.
“We really want to make the Winter Festival a real part of the holiday season,” she said. “Boston has a wonderful holiday season and it will be be nice to be a part of that overall celebration.”
This year the Power Station at SoWa will feature 110 vendors with arts, crafts and specialty foods – all in a temperature controlled environment, as the Power Station has been outfitted with some heating elements. They will also be selling Christmas trees outside the Power Station this year for folks to take home to their apartments.
There will also be four food trucks stationed in the usual spot, with live ice sculpting from noon to 2:30 p.m. each day.
That will be only steps from the numerous permanent shops and galleries on the SoWa campus.
This year, there will also be a tent featuring Gaslight Brasserie on Thayer Street. They wil be serving hot chocolate, specialty cheeses, mulled wine.
There will also be live music, carolling and Alice’s Table will be sponsoring a Do It Yourself wreath and flower creation table.
The festivities will actually kick off on Friday, with the monthly First Friday event in the Artists Building on Thayer Street.
Parking is available in the usual GTI Lots for $10.
“Last year was a tremendous success for everyone when we moved it to the Power Station,” said St. Amand. “The vendors did really well and all of the visitors were really happy with the unique selections and the holiday atmosphere. We look forward to creating the same kind of fun this year.”