Rotary Winter Wonderland Celebrates Record-Breaking Opening Weekend

Annual Lights Show Collects 7,500 Food Pantry Items in First Three Days

Rotary Winter Wonderland celebrated a record-breaking opening weekend this year. The annual lights show at Wildwood Park opened on Friday, and throughout the weekend collected 7,500 canned food items for local shelters.

“This was by far the best opener in the history of our project,” said Al Nystrom, operations and finance chair. “We blew away our previous record for opening weekend collections. Food donations were 40% above normal and 10% higher than our previous best.”

Nystrom added that a group of “Senior Elves” meet on Mondays to load trailers for deliver to local pantries.

“There are 30 pantries in our network,” he said. “We deliver locally, and those from out of town pick up what they need. Dennis Boucher has done a great job of leading this effort since we started twelve years ago.”

Peanut butter and jelly are especially highly-valued items, with those items being directed to the United Way’s “Nutrition on Weekends” program.

In its 12th year, Rotary Winter Wonderland continues to evolve, this year adding a Gingerbread House and a variety of new displays to give the park a fresh and exciting look.

“The Gingerbread House was a packed with visitors all weekend , and the music was exceptional,” said Nystrom. “Saturdays are peak due to the number of visitors from out of town. We draw from a 100-mile radius around Marshfield.”


The exhibit is open seven days a week from 5:00-9:00pm, through December 31. There is no admission fee, but food pantry items and cash donations are encouraged. Pasta, cereal, peanut butter, canned soups, and canned vegetables are especially needed.

“We are excited about the outlook for our 12th season,” said Nystrom. “We can make some good things happen with 30+ degree weather, as long as our guests remember our mission. Food and cash donations for local pantries are the best way to let us know you appreciate our efforts.”

News Desk
Author: News Desk