Volunteers needed for Friends of Portsmouth Winterfest

By Tom Corrigan - tcorrigan@aimmediamidwest.com

The Toyota Winterfest at Market Square in Boneyfiddle officially kicks off Dec. 1.

As many know by now, planned by the nonprofit, community group Friends of Portsmouth, the month-long event will include numerous holiday activities, from an ice-skating rink to a nativity scene with live animals and opportunities to visit Santa Claus.

As previously advertised, there also will be an attempt to break the world’s record for the most people simultaneously singing Christmas carols.

However, before the big extravaganza gets underway, organizers say they need some volunteers to help make the season bright. Friends of Portsmouth’s Maddie Burnside said various companies have stepped up to provide employee volunteers for many days of the coming festival. In return, they will get some advertising during the event. But Burnside and volunteer Cinamon Wellington said public volunteers are still very much needed.

With all that in mind, Friends of Portsmouth plans a volunteer meeting 5:30 p.m. this evening at the Scioto County Welcome Center on Second Street. Both Burnside and Wellington said the event also will feature some further details on Winterfest itself.

Owner and operator of the Happy Pot in Boneyfiddle, Wellington said volunteers are needed to help with the skating rink, with Santa’s workshop (an auxiliary to the real thing in the North Pole, the Times assumes) as well as just general cleanup in Boneyfiddle. Burnside said volunteer opportunities have been broken down into shifts. Bodies are especially needed Mondays and Saturdays.

Volunteer shifts will generally run 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2-6 p.m., and 6-9 p.m. Burnside noted volunteers are especially needed for the 3-6 p.m., shift Thursdays and 6-9 p.m., Fridays. Noting the huge crowds which turned out for the Plant Portsmouth cleanup event over the summer, Burnside expressed at least a mild concern the group might end up with too many volunteers.

“It’s a good problem to have,” she said.

Santa’s Workshop will go up in what is known to many as the former Candyland building next to the recently opened Glockner Museum. Wellington said visitors can get a picture with Santa Claus for a fee or just visit with St. Nick, then, if they want, head over to the Winterfest gift shop. All proceeds from the workshop, the gift shop and the skating rink will benefit the activities of the Friends of Portsmouth.

As many know, during the summers Plant Portsmouth event, volunteers shattered the world’s record for the most people potting plants at one time. Now, Friends of Portsmouth have their sights set on the mass caroling record. Patties and Pints owner and local developer Tim Wolfe is another one of the leaders of Friends of Portsmouth.

According to Wolfe, the current caroling record is 1,822 set in 2013 in the town of Waukesha, Wisc., which sits in the Milwaukee metro area. Wolfe wants to raise the record to at least 2,000 people. Dec. 15 has been set as the day for the attempt.

In a previous interview with the Daily Times, Wolfe talked a lot about plans to decorate Boneyfiddle with the help of civic groups and churches.

“We’re going to decorate every block of Second Street,” Wolfe said. At least five or six churches likely will be involved with that effort. Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis and the White Gravel Mines in Minford will take over Market Street decorations.

During her more recent comments, Wellington talked about Thursdays being teen nights at the skating rink and Burnside spoke of local church choirs roaming the streets on Sundays.

For more information on Winterfest, visit the Friends of Portsmouth Facebook page.


By Tom Corrigan