Winterfest Kicks Off With Storm Troopers Thanksgiving Weekend

Plus an ice slide, robot-building, nitrogen ice cream and more activities to kick off the bustling winter village on the Delaware.

Original photo by Matt Stanley.

Original photo by Matt Stanley.

If you were bummed you had to miss the kids-only Star Wars Day at Please Touch Museum a few months ago, cheer up. Bluecross RiverRink Winterfest (aka the frosty version of Spruce Street Harbor Park) is kicking off Thanksgiving weekend with its own Star Wars-themed bash featuring storm troopers and other bad-guy characters from the franchise. They’ll be at the event from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday, November 27th, courtesy of the 501st Legion Garrison Carida, a local organization dedicated to “re-creating film-quality costumes of the ‘villainous’ characters of the Star Wars galaxy.”

I asked — with my fingers crossed — if storm troopers will actually slip on skates and hit the ice. “I wish,” said Delaware River Waterfront Corporation rep Emma Fried Cassorla. “We’re going to at least try and get them out on the rink to pose for photos.”

The Star Wars portion of the day is only one of a whole slew of events taking place over Winterfest’s opening weekend. Arden Theatre Company will be on hand to lead workshops in creating ice skating-themed holiday ornaments and crafts. Ice-sculpting company Fear No Ice will be there Saturday to create a giant ice slide. All weekend, Philly science-based educational program Wondergy will set up a station to demonstrate how to build robots and make liquid nitrogen ice cream. A full list of activities can be found here

Besides the events, many of the attraction’s more-laid-back staples will be returning, including that Olympic-sized skating rink, fancy new outdoor cottages, a winter garden, fire pits, heated tents and food and beverages by Garces Group and Franklin Fountain. There’s also the city’s largest live Christmas tree that will be draped with lights from this summer’s Spruce Street Harbor Park. Those won’t be turned on until a special ceremony on December 4th, though. 

Most events throughout the season are free — with the exception of food and skate rentals. The opening weekend festivities take place Friday, November 27th through Sunday, November 29th. For a full schedule of events and to keep track of what’s happening down the road, go here.

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