Tenleytown Celebrates the Season with WinterFest 2013

Tenley WinterFest

Don’t be surprised if you see an abominable snowman around town.  The Tenley Yeti has made his annual sojourn to the neighborhood in honor of the 2013 Tenley WinterFest.

Begun as a Janney Elementary School craft fair nine years ago to raise funds for the school, Tenley WinterFest has become a neighborhood wide festival, bringing together local schools, merchants and neighbors to celebrate the winter season in Tenleytown.

“The Tenley WinterFest has grown into a true community celebration, due to the hard work of volunteers who had a vision for something better and bigger,” says WinterFest organizer Jane Malhotra. “With food donated from Whole Foods, craft activities at the library, a ukulele raffle prize from Middle C Music, and new light pole banners funded by residents and merchants across Tenleytown, it’s really a community collaboration and celebration. The Tenley WinterFest is a fun way to embrace our little town, enjoy the outdoors and kick off the holiday season with friends and neighbors.”

Although the festival officially kicks off on Friday, December 6 with a winter garden lighting ceremony at Janney Elementary School, followed by a full day of events on December 7, kids – and the young at heart – can follow the trail of the Tenley Yeti as he makes his way to WinterFest as part of a community-wide scavenger hunt going on now. Prizes will be awarded to all who track the Yeti to his hiding spots at 15 local businesses and organizations along Wisconsin Avenue, between Upton and Fessenden Streets. A map, available online or at the children’s desk at the Tenley-Friendship Library, and clues will be available to help hunters find the Yeti’s hiding spots at each establishment.

WinterFest culminates on December 7 with a full day of events, including the Janney 5K and Fun Run which is sponsored by local merchants, Janney families and friends of Janney and raises funds to support special programs at the school. Last year’s race brought more than 700 participants to the finish line, and race organizers say this year’s race is on track to be another record event. The race begins at 10:00 a.m. at Janney Elementary School and the route winds through AU Park on 42nd, Van Ness, 46th and Albemarle Streets. The 5K is a USA Track & Field certified course.

Immediately following the race, the WinterFest Winter Market gets underway at Janney Elementary School, with more than 60 vendors of all ages selling handcrafted gifts, toys, jewelry and sweet treats. There’s even a Yeti Grill serving grilled bratwurst, hot dogs, chili, empanadas and quesadillas. Musical groups, drawn from local public and private schools and American University, will entertain shoppers and diners in the Janney Atrium.

Just around the corner from Janney, the Tenley-Friendship Library will host holiday craft making and story times for neighborhood kids from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Neighbors and visitors who want to learn more about Tenleytown’s history can join walking tours at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The tours depart from the WinterFest information booth and are led by a representative of the Tenleytown Historical Society. A full schedule of events is available on the WinterFest website.

After the winter market, WinterFest attendees can also stop by the Tenley-Friendship Library to check out the children’s book sale or make their way up Wisconsin Avenue to Public Tenley to enjoy winter brews, food and music at an outdoor beer garden until 10:00 p.m.

To stay abreast of WinterFest events and updates, visit http://www.tenleywinterfest.org/ or follow on Twitter at @TWfest.  Even the Tenley Yeti is live-tweeting his travels through town – keep an eye on the friendly white beast at @Tenleyeti.