If you stand in front of the Cathedral of St.John the Evangelist near the corner of Superior Avenue and East Ninth Street, the annual Winterfest holiday lights at downtown Cleveland’s newly improved Public Square can be seen in all their glory.
On Saturdays during November, countless volunteers, staff from the city of Cleveland, Public Square Programming and Downtown Cleveland Alliance members spent many hours transforming four city blocks into a spectacular display of holiday lights for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
Adding to the magical light display is a 400-square-foot outdoor Nativity scene. Complete with a stable, the 10-piece display was assembled by four volunteers from the Knights of Columbus, Cleveland Council No. 733.
“It’s a true collaboration by everyone,” said Rich Taylor of Council 733. “The story goes that the Nativity was donated by an Altar and Rosary Society from a merged parish. This is my first year taking the lead after a few years of volunteering to do the electrical work. It has been a wonderful experience working with all parties.”
It took the crew approximately four hours from the start — when they moved the pieces of the set out of the former chancery building behind the cathedral — to running the electrical lines and building the manager scene. The Nativity sits on the Mandel Concert Hill, just east of the main stage and Christmas tree on Public Square. Also included in that quadrant of the square is the Jewish Grand Menorah.
“It is so rewarding and welcoming to know that thousands of spectators will be reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season,” Taylor said.
Winterfest holiday lights will remain lit through Jan. 5. Touring the display is free to the public.
Each weekend in December, Public Square features a variety of entertainment such as Christmas carolers, live musical acts and free ice skating lessons. For details on special appearances by Santa or sleigh rides, view a complete listing at clevelandpublicsquare.com
The Cleveland Foundation ice skating rink is open daily through Feb. 28. Visit clevelandpublicsquare.com for information on skate rental.