The Hallmark-inspired, inaugural Avon Winterfest joins this list of fun outdoor holiday festivities

Mr. and Mrs. Claus smiling at the camera

By Susan Dunne Hartford Courant | Dec 02, 2021 at 8:12 AM

In the 2021 Hallmark holiday movie “Taking a Shot at Love,” a couple trying to save a Christmas tree farm visits the Avon Winterfest as their romance plays out. This weekend, film fiction comes to life as the Connecticut town of Avon hosts its inaugural three-day holiday fair inspired by that movie, starring Danica McKellar of “The Wonder Years.”

Avon Winterfest will be on the Avon Village Green and village center Dec. 3-5.

“We had the idea to do something like it in 2019 but we couldn’t get it up and running fast enough,” said Dawn Zavalishin, director of Avon Winterfest. “Then in 2020 COVID hit. Then I was sitting at home watching the Hallmark movie that had an Avon Winterfest and it just all clicked.”

Hallmark screenwriter and Avon resident Julie Sherman Wolfe set her movie in Avon, even though it was filmed in Canada.

“I’m always about hyping up Connecticut. That’s my goal in general. You could call me the Connecticut hype man at Hallmark,” Wolfe said. “I’m trying to build this little world.”

The real Winterfest, to be emceed by NBC Connecticut newswoman Kerri-Lee Mayland, will have shopping opportunities, lollipop making, a beer garden, caroling, food and drink vendors.

The Hallmark movie “You, Me & The Christmas Trees,” also set in Avon and written by Sherman, will be screened Dec. 3 from 8 to 10 p.m. in the parking lot of Whole Foods at 50 Climax Road.

Other activities and entertainments at family-friendly event include:

Dec. 3: Fiddlers The Carroll Sisters at 6 p.m.; ice skating from 6 to 10 p.m.; Santa visits from 6 to 9 p.m.; opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m.; Avon High School Camerate Singers at 6:45 p.m.; a tree lighting at 7:30 p.m.; Sweet Adeline / Farmington Valley Chorus at 7:30 p.m.; the KC Sisters at 8:30 p.m.

Dec. 4: Santa visits from 4 to 7 p.m.; ice skating from 6 to 10 p.m.; Avon Middle School Arioso Chorus at 5 p.m.; the KC Sisters at 6:30 p.m.; the Carroll Sisters at 8 p.m.

Dec. 5: Ice skating from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; a gingerbread contest and raffle at 10 a.m.; Hilby the Skinny German Juggling Boy at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and The Substitutes at noon.
Proceeds will support Connecticut Children’s Gastroenterology Department and Connecticut GI, PC, a medical group specializing in digestive and liver disorders.

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