Living on the coast during the holiday season can often feel as if Christmas cheer is lumped in between our two seasons–actual summer and actual winter.
After all, snow is not falling, temperatures barely drop, and we aren’t able to partake in movie-depicted Christmas activities such as sledding down a white hill hoping little twigs do not snap beneath us.
However, one group in South Baldwin has taken matters into its own hands.
The Wharf’s Director of Marketing, Sheena Mizell, recently spoke with Gulf Coast City Lifestyle on how the iconic coastal property is looking to change things for residents with ice rinks, festivals, and more.
“Over the years of trying different holiday events and attractions we have learned what visitors like to see; Santa! We offer Photos with Santa throughout the season and people may even catch a glimpse of him at the Christmas Tree Lighting, a Horse + Carriage Ride, or even while shopping and dining at The Wharf.”
To keep things fresh, Mizell says the key is adding an element or a twist on a popular event that is set to return.
“Over the years we have changed the size and location of the Ice Rink and added an enormous walk-thru lighted Christmas present in Palms Plaza that makes for a great photo op. New events such as Holly Days Festival on Main and Kids Confetti Drop have also been added to the lineup in recent seasons. Even though the holiday happenings at The Wharf have evolved over the years, we continue to bring back the events and attractions that visitors and families across the coast have turned into traditions with their loved ones. We offer one of the most consistent seasonal Ice Rinks on the Gulf Coast where children have grown up taking their annual spin.”
To prepare for such an iconic coastal Christmas, Mizell and her team start early.
“Preparation for the Ice Rink begins as early as mid-October and goes into high gear on November 1st. Once the Ice Rink opens, it is full speed ahead.”
After Christmas preparations end, the team heads straight into ringing in the new year.
“We will ring in 2023 with our 16th Annual Reelin’ in the New Year Street Party. This celebration has grown over the years to include live music, fireworks, family-friendly activities, and the Marlin Drop. It has been voted one of the most popular New Year’s Eve events in the state and has become a favorite for visitors that make it their annual celebration.”
However, it is not just about the flashy lights, the amazing Ice Rink, and hosting one of the most popular events for New Year, it is about the true spirit of the season.
“We love Christmas at The Wharf and hope to help spread the joy of the season. One way we do this is by partnering with Toys For Tots to help make local children’s holidays a little brighter. We host a bike drive at the Ice Rink and also give back $5 for every skater that skates on Tuesdays; these efforts go straight to Toys For Tots for their seasonal toy drive.”
The Wharf’s Holly Days will be on December 10 from 7 am-3 pm and will feature several local vendors.