Winterfest is Cleveland’s largest outdoor winter celebration. On Nov. 30, more than 40,000 spectators began the holiday season by experiencing the outdoor tree lighting, fireworks display and family friendly entertainment.
Included in the vibrant showcase of lights is a 400-square-foot outdoor Nativity scene. The 10-piece display that includes a stable is located on the main stage in the heart of Public Square. The Nativity set was assembled the week prior to Winterfest by volunteers from the Knights of Columbus, Cleveland Council No. 733.
Led by Knight Rich Taylor of Council 733, the crew began its work in the morning by loading an unconstructed set that had been stored in the former chancery building behind the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and carefully transporting it down Superior Avenue to Public Square.
“The Nativity has been passed down and donated by an Altar and Rosary Society from a merged parish. It is delicate. We take it slow and steady during the set-up process,” Taylor said. The Knights not only volunteer their time to set up the display, they also recruit volunteers to help with the electrical work.
On Saturdays during December, volunteers and staff from the city of Cleveland, Public Square and Downtown Cleveland Alliance spend hours assisting with the upkeep to the four city blocks that were transformed into the holiday display for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
“Year after year it’s a true collaboration between everyone. All parties involved are helpful and it is awesome to know we are working to spread the true meaning of this season to all those that visit downtown,” Taylor said.
The Nativity sits on the main stage in the center of Public Square on Superior Avenue, facing the Terminal Tower. Also included in that quadrant of the square is the Jewish grand menorah.
Winterfest holiday lights will remain active through Jan. 4, 2020. Visitors can tour Public Square to view the lights and displays for free.
The Cleveland Foundation ice skating rink is open daily through Feb. 28. For information on skate rental visit clevelandpublicsquare.com.