• Press Release

WinterFest on the Wisconsin Set to Open with 300,000 Additional Lights



Words and Images Courtesy of Nauticus


Nauticus doubles the lights and adds more evenings to this holiday hit.

Norfolk, Va.—Nauticus has revealed its plans for this season’s WinterFest on the Wisconsin, including doubling the holiday lights aboard the battleship (more than 650,000 in total), increasing the number of nights, adding new programming and entertainment, and kicking the celebration off on Veteran’s Day with a special salute to the military. WinterFest on the Wisconsin was launched in 2020 as a safe, outdoor holiday experience for the Hampton Roads community. Each night was sold out, and more than 31,000 guests enjoyed the experience last season.

Winterfest on the Wisconsin 2021

“Based on the overwhelming response we received last year, our team has been planning since February for this season,” said Stephen E. Kirkland, Nauticus’ executive director. “Mark my words, this year the battleship will truly be a showstopper.”


Winterfest on the Wisconsin 2021

Along with more lights and more nights, Nauticus’ creative team is designing several new experiences. Each evening, guests will enjoy a snowfall inside the museum’s Wonder Hall. A live-action animatronic Gingerbread Man is being designed to greet guests in the ship’s historic galley, and families will have a special moment with Santa in a new North Pole experience. The battleship’s fantail (stern of the ship) will feature a new centerpiece – a massive, 32-foot-tall Christmas tree with special tree lighting ceremonies throughout the evening. This season’s WinterFest on the Wisconsin will also see the return of some holiday favorites, like the lighted boat parade on the Elizabeth River each Saturday night (Santa arrives by boat), dozens of cheeky elves below deck, an elaborate train display, and of course, Oliver, the talking Christmas tree.

Winterfest on the Wisconsin 2021

WinterFest on the Wisconsin opens on Veteran’s Day (November 11) and tickets are complimentary that evening to all active-duty service members and veterans, thanks to the generous support of our presenting sponsor, GEICO Military. The event runs through January 2, 2022 and is open each Wednesday – Sunday throughout the holiday season. Pricing varies: Wed-Thurs - $12.50 adult, $10 child general admission, Fri-Sun - $14.50 adult, $12 child general admission. Nauticus members can purchase discounted tickets beginning September 27; general admission tickets go on sale October 1.

Winterfest on the Wisconsin 2021

Support for WinterFest on the Wisconsin directly benefits the Nauticus Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Funding provides interpretation and restoration of the Battleship Wisconsin and allows Nauticus to open new onboard spaces and experiential learning opportunities for students, families and visitors.

For more information, visit https://www.winterfestonthewisconsin.com/ or www.nauticus.org

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