Weekend Winter Village brings a holiday wonderland to downtown Easton

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A large synthetic skating rink is just one of the many attractions that are a part of the Easton Winter Village. (Photo courtesy of city of Easton)

Shirley Liu, Arts & Culture Editor

Students who go down the hill this weekend will find Centre Square decorated with huts, an ice skating rink and twinkling white lights. No, this isn’t a set for the newest Hallmark movie, it’s the second annual Easton Winter Village.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from Nov. 19 to Dec. 19, the traffic circle’s inner lane is closed to make space for huts where over twenty locally-based vendors can sell treats and gifts. Near the huts, the city has set up a bandshell that hosts entertainment in the form of live music, ice carvers, stilt walkers and more. Visitors are also welcome to skate in the synthetic rink. Lafayette students can skate on the rink for free for up to thirty minutes.

Easton Mayor Salvatore J. Panto started the Winter Village last year to support small businesses impacted by economic losses during the pandemic. Panto was inspired to create the Winter Village after seeing similar villages while traveling in Europe. City Hall partnered with the Greater Easton Development Partnership to put together decorations, vendor huts and a skating rink for the Winter Village.

Given the positive reception to last year’s Winter Village, Easton decided to host it again this year. Tracey Werner, a marketing consultant for the city of Easton, said that although the Winter Village was conceptualized as a way to support businesses during the pandemic, the hope is to continue growing the Winter Village and establish it as a new tradition.

“Last year was a good start. This year, it’s growing…more huts, larger rink. We’ve added additional entertainment,” Werner said.

Werner welcomes everyone who hasn’t had much exposure to Easton to experience the Winter Village — but she hopes this will not be the only time that students come downtown.

“I think the important thing to remember is that the Easton Winter Village is meant to be a launchpad of sorts, meaning when you come to downtown Easton to explore the Winter Village, don’t stop there,” Werner said. “We have more than forty downtown retailers, small business retailers, for holiday shopping. So use the Winter Village as your launchpad to explore the rest of Downtown Easton’s businesses and shops and art galleries.”

Werner also urged students to do their holiday shopping locally. Not only does this support small businesses in Easton, but given the current issues with the supply chain, it is also less of a logistical nightmare.

“People are talking about ordering stuff online and having it delayed and it’s coming from…offshore, in foreign countries,” Werner said. “There’s plenty of items for sale, you know, right here in your own backyard that aren’t waiting on some shipping container to be unloaded in a port.”

“We are open for business,” Werner said. “So please come downtown.”

More information about the Easton Winter Village can be found at exploreeastonpa.com.