Fall River's Kennedy Park will be twinkling this holiday season with the arrival of the first ever Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights. Plans are still in the early stages, but the event sounds like the festive family fun Spindle City residents have been looking for.

With holiday light events everywhere the last few years, organizers Justin Rutkowski and Roxanne Longstone knew Fall River had to have one of its own. The pair knew that Fall River hadn't had holiday lights in years so they set out to change all that.

In May they presented their plan to Fall River Parks and Recreation and received permission to hang thousands of lights in Kennedy Park from early December through early January. More recently, the city officially earmarked $325,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding for an outdoor ice skating rink to really make things into a Winter Wonderland.

Rink plans are still scarce, with outside contractors needed to truly bring skating to Kennedy Park -- though with funding and approval in place, things could start clicking in the next few months.

With or without the skating, however, Kennedy Park will glow every night in December. Fall River families will be able to walk the park and see the trees and paths covered in twinkling lights and the gorgeous water view in the distance. Plus, with the Braga Bridge glowing these days, things will look even more amazing.

Early plans are for entertainment in the park Saturday nights, too. Character visits, face painting, balloon twisting, cocoa and crafts will be in the park. Rutkowski and Longstone also have ideas for Santa visits and a workshop set up in the park.

As the organizers mentioned, everything is still in the early stages with lots of opportunities for local vendors and volunteers to get involved. The pair have a Facebook page dedicated to the Winter Wonderland where those interested in being a part of things can learn more.

There's also a craft fair planned for Sept. 25 with proceeds going to the Winter Wonderland and helping it grow. Crafters and buyers can head to the Fall River picnic grounds, at the end of Jefferson Street,11 a.m. to 3 p.m., to sell, shop and support the event.

Seeing holiday lights is a holiday tradition for so many families. It's wonderful news for Fall River families that a new, free holiday tradition is coming their way with the first-ever Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights this December.

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