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  • Writer's picturePress Release

WinterFest Heralds New Tradition for Hampton Roads

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Battleship Wisconsin Decks Transformed for Six-Week Holiday Experience

Words and Images courtesy of Nauticus

Norfolk, Va.— More than 250,000 holiday lights, a 25-foot-tall Christmas tree, and a team of custom-designed animatronic elves are just some of the highlights of WinterFest on the Wisconsin, a massive new experience aboard the historic battleship in downtown Norfolk. Produced by Nauticus and presented by GEICO Military, the holiday spectacle will launch on November 21 and conclude on New Year’s Eve. Out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19, Nauticus’ Dickens’ Christmas Townehas been canceled for 2020. Instead, the Battleship Wisconsin’s outside decks will be transformed for a safe, family-focused experience.

“Perhaps most notably, the Battleship Wisconsinis a symbol of this country’s resilience and resolve,” said Nauticus executive director, Stephen E. Kirkland. “That makes it the perfect venue upon which to celebrate the season after a tremendously challenging year.”

Winterfest on the Wisconsin will feature an enormous holiday light trail along the decks of the battleship with special tree lighting ceremonies each night. An elaborate projection system will cast holiday imagery across the entirety of the ship’s hull, and each Saturday evening Santa Claus will arrive by boat at the conclusion of a lighted sailboat parade. Winterfest on the Wisconsinwas conceived as a way to celebrate the Hampton Roads community and also pay tribute to the men and women who continue to keep our country safe – even through a global pandemic.

“GEICO Military is proud to partner with Nauticus and present Winterfest on the Wisconsinin celebration of our military and veteran communities,” said Brian Schlicht, representing GEICO’s Military Assistance Team. “Our collective goal is to bring some joy and create some lasting family memories.”

For more information regarding Winterfest on the Wisconsin, visit The experience is brought to the community by the Nauticus Foundation, a nonprofit 501©3 developed to support the mission and activities of Nauticus. Nauticus’ mission is to benefit the community through education, impactful experiences and by sharing access to maritime resources.


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