Celebrate WinterFest on Dec. 14 in Benton City

Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldDecember 11, 2013 

WinterFest parade in Benton City


Benton City has taken the celebration of Christmas seriously for the past 10 years.

This year's WinterFest on Dec. 14 features a parade, bazaar, a Wii tournament, fun runs, arts and crafts, and all kinds of activities for kids.

The festival runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with most events happening at Kiona-Benton High School, 1205 Horne Road.

The parade starts at 5 p.m. at Ki-Be Middle School, 913 Horne Drive, and travels through the downtown area, ending near City Park. Those entered in the parade should be in place by 4:30 p.m.

The parade will include a mix of brightly lit floats, as well as vehicles decked out with sparkling Christmas lights, such as large farm rigs and military equipment.

The parade's lighted entries are as conventional as they are strange, and entries can be anything that lights can be attached to, said Heather Duncan of the Benton City Chamber of Commerce. Past parade entries have included a lighted billy goat.

There also will be mounted entries in the parade, but there won't be marching bands this year because of the extreme cold, Duncan said.

Organizers discourage tossing candy out to the crowds during the event because of the dangers of children chasing after it during the low light of the evening.

After the parade, the public is encouraged to stick around for the tree-lighting ceremony at City Park in the heart of town. Food vendors will be set up around the park.

"We have a new tree this year, a beautiful 14-foot blue spruce," Duncan said. "There also will be complimentary hot cocoa and cookies."

There is no cost to attend WinterFest events.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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