Santa will spread some early Christmas cheer when New Hazelton welcomes the holiday season with its Winterfest celebration on Friday.

Santa stops by the Hazeltons

New Hazelton warms up for the holiday season at Winterfest this Friday.

A hot dinner and hot chocolate will help keep the crowd warm when residents of the Hazeltons mark the arrival of the cold and the Christmas season at Winterfest this Friday.

Organized by the District of New Hazelton, the annual event at Allen Park welcomes the winter and the festive season with a free dinner and fireworks for the community.

Santa will be among those to make an appearance at the gathering, where he will pose for free photos, although a donation to the Salvation Army Food Bank will be encouraged.

A hot dinner of hotdogs and hamburgers will be served, as well as sweet treats such as hot chocolate to help shake off the cold weather.

People can enter their names into a draw to win one of the prize baskets which will be given away on the night.

District administrative assistant Tamara Brooks said although the size of the crowd was always weather dependent, the fireworks were a major drawcard.

“It is a celebration to bring in the holidays and it is to include everybody,” Brooks said.

“That is why it is a Winterfest, so no religions or cultures can be excluded because it is just a winter festival.”

Winterfest runs from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5.

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