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Newton warms up for its first WinterFEST

Newton Community Pride has announced WinterFEST, a new series of outdoor events that will be held the weekend of Feb. 12 and 13 in Newton Highlands, Cold Spring Park, and Newton Centre.

Gloria Gavris, chairwoman of Newton Community Pride’s board, said the organization is thrilled to help bring new winter activities to the city.

“This brand-new event will provide free and accessible family entertainment, whimsy and winter fun for all to enjoy,” Gavris said in a statement. “We love thinking of new programming that we can bring to the city. Many cold weather cities and towns have winter carnivals and festivals, why not Newton?”


On Saturday, Feb.12, the Hyde Community Center and the Highlands Area Council will host a Community Soup Social at the Hyde Playground from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hot bowls of soup will be provided by local restaurants, and Newton North High School’s Melocotones will perform live music.

Newton Conservators will host a family-friendly and dog-friendly walk along Cold Spring Park’s wooded trail on Sunday, Feb. 13. Participants are asked to meet at 10 a.m. at the park’s 1094 Beacon St. entrance and proceed around toward the left at the trail entrance near the sports fields. People are asked to keep any dogs on their leashes. Hot chocolate, coffee, and sweets will be provided at the end of the walk.

Then from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, family activities will be held in Newton Centre. People will be able to shop throughout the day at a Winter Pop-Up Market for items like crafts and chocolates, the statement said.

On the village green, a live ice sculpting demonstration of a polar bear will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. by Images on Ice, and people will be able to take photos with costumed characters near ice sculptures of Valentine’s Day Hearts, penguins, and an ice throne. The Boston College a capella group The Acoustics will perform from 3 to 4 p.m.


Newton Community Pride helps support local arts and culture programming, beautification projects and promotes volunteerism in Newton.

WinterFEST is being presented by The Village Bank, and received support from a Massachusetts Cultural Council Festival Grant. The event is being held in partnership with the Hyde Community Center and Newton’s Park, Recreation and Culture Department.

John Hilliard can be reached at