A new Christmas festival will launch in Victoria Park in December, looking set to become the Winter Wonderland of the east.
Winterville will take over most of the park from 2 December until the end of the year, and be laid out like a town complete with its own Town Square, Market Place and Downtown areas. As with Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, it will be completely free to enter but many events within it will be ticketed and charged for.
Features include a covered ice rink, a ferris wheel and a roller disco, as well as the chance to ride horse-drawn carriages around the park and see vintage motorcycles perform gravity-defying stunts on the Wall Of Death. Further entertainment will come in the form of a pop-up pantomime, a mini-nightclub and a tent hosting live music, comedy and cabaret. This will include a run of Shit-faced Shakespeare, as seen and raved about at the Edinburgh Festival.
A kids’ area will offer a circus and a Santa’s grotto along with rides suitable for little people, while altogether more adult-minded fun can be found in the Fairy Grotto, which will offer LGBT-minded entertainment every Sunday, including events titled The Gay Bingo Christmas Show, Bears On Ice and Sink The Pink.
Food and drink is set to be a draw in its own right, with a produce-led farmers' market running alongside street food stalls including Anna Mae’s mac ‘n’ cheese, Bell & Brisket's pulled meats and Dalston-based pizza bar Voodoo Rays, as well as east Asian dumplings from Dorset-based Dorshi, who recently won the street food category at the Young British Foodies awards.
There will also be a pub, a hot cider bar, après ski-themed Bar Humbug and a craft beer bar. The latter will major on London brews, with Hackney-based Beavertown, Pressure Drop and The Five Points Brewing Co all represented.
There are rumours of pop-up restaurants to come, though nothing is confirmed yet.
On New Year’s Eve, the space will host a ticketed closing party — which we imagine will include fireworks — but details of this are still to be announced.
Tickets to some events are on sale now via the Winterville website, where you'll also find a 'town map'.