By Andrew Kramer

NEW HOPE, Pa. (CBS) – The Lambertville New Hope Winter Festival, featuring dozens of activities all throughout the community, is back this month for an 18th year.

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There will be balls, crawls, concerts, food and fun for all ages to enjoy at the two-week festival beginning January 16th.

The festival’s chairman, Dudley Rice, says it serves two primary purposes:

“To bring a number of events to the local community to bring people in to a time when typically it’s snowy and kind of cold and wintry, and second is to raise money for local organizations.”

The festival lasts for a couple of weeks, but the primary weekend will be January 23-25.

“During that weekend of events,” Rice says, “we’ll have various concerts, events at local businesses and restaurants. Saturday we’ll have a parade through downtown New Hope across the bridge, over the Delaware and into Lambertville where it will end and those kinds of things throughout the day with a number of children’s activities at various locations throughout that people can pretty much spend the whole weekend doing.”

The parade through downtown New Hope. (Credit: Lambertville New Hope Winter Festival)

The parade through downtown New Hope. (Credit: Lambertville New Hope Winter Festival)

Out of the many events taking place, Rice says they can be broken up into two categories. One is the events you need a ticket for:

“For ticketed events, we have the Fire & Ice Ball, and then we’ll have a Winter Fest Blues & BBQ, we have a Cinco de Mayo for Winter Festival, a taste of Winter Festival where we have a number of the local restaurants come and you can sample all the different foods and beverages. Friday night, the 23rd is a big event — it’s our Winter Festival Concert and VIP Reception. This year we have headlining our event, John Oates, from the rock duo Hall and Oates. Saturday we’ll have a Beef ‘N’ Brew, Sunday is another big event, the Chili Cook-off.”

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On top of that, Rice says, there are plenty of free events as well:

“We have a library read-a-thon, a gallery crawl through all of the galleries and art places in New Hope, a bunch of family activities all day long on the weekend, hikes and tours, we have ice sculptures that are free. And of course the parade on Saturday is usually really big.”

Dudley Rice and wife, Gretchen, with one of the Winter Festival live ice sculptures. (Credit: Lambertville New Hope Winter Festival)

Dudley Rice and wife, Gretchen, with one of the Winter Festival live ice sculptures. (Credit: Lambertville New Hope Winter Festival)

Rice describes the Winter Festival as the biggest, most fun event you could imagine:

“If you’re coming here for the weekend there is something to do just about every time of the day and night. We have a number of free events that you can take your families to that are just plain fun in the dead middle of winter when the snow is on the ground and you’re looking for something to do to get out of the house.”

For more information, to purchase tickets to some of the events and to see a day-to-day schedule, go to www.winterfestival.net.

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