Nearly 65,000 Guests Visit Hampton Roads’ Newest Holiday Hit
WinterFest on the Wisconsin more than doubles its attendance in 2021
Norfolk, Va. (January 5, 2022) –In its second season, WinterFest on the Wisconsin welcomed more than double the number of guests from the previous year. Nearly 65,000 residents and visitors attended the waterfront light festival this holiday season, ensuring the event will be a family favorite for years to come.
“We were really overcome by the reception this year,” said Nauticus’ executive director, Stephen E. Kirkland. “Simply put, it gives us the confidence to keep growing this experience and further establish it as an annual holiday tradition.”
After a successful launch in 2020 as a safe, outdoor holiday experience, WinterFest returned in 2021 with additional lights, live entertainment, and onboard activities.
Thanks to WinterFest’s presenting sponsor, GEICO Military, over 1,000 active-duty and veteran service members attended WinterFest at no cost on opening weekend. Nearly 1,000 first responders, nurses, teachers and their families were welcomed aboard for two Heroes Nights in December.
Over the coming weeks, crews will remove more than 650,000 lights and the below-deck areas will be returned to their regular interpretive layout. Proceeds from WinterFest on the Wisconsin will allow Nauticus to open new areas of the battleship and more fully interpret key areas prior to the ship’s birthday celebration on April 16, 2022.
Support for WinterFest on the Wisconsin directly benefits the Nauticus Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Funding provides interpretation and restoration of the Battleship Wisconsin and allows Nauticus to open new onboard spaces and experiential learning opportunities for students, families and visitors.