ATTLEBORO — After a one-year hiatus to regroup, the Winter Night Festival is back.
The downtown event — which in the past has featured fire jugglers, a bonfire, ice sculptures, music, face painters, a hayride and various exhibits — has been scheduled for 4 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.
One of the event committee members, Attleboro Arts Museum director Mim Fawcett, said the group is in the beginning stages of lining up the attractions and sponsors, so details will come later.
Last year, the festival was canceled after nine consecutive years. Mayor Paul Heroux, who heads the committee, said the aim was to evaluate the festival and make it better.
The mayor said the event is funded completely by donations, including one from Columbia Gas for $7,500.
In addition, it’s been decided that the city will only hold a winter festival rather than one in winter and one in summer, as it has in the past.
Heroux said there are too many competing events going on in the summer, so the city would rather combine its resources and make the winter festival bigger and better.
Fawcett said the committee — which also includes Diane Falk of Cardinal Marketing, Jim Jones of DoubleACS and Nancy Young of Attleboro Jewelers — decided to push the time of the event up because most people in the past have tended to arrive early and leave early. That was largely because the festival is family-oriented and attracts many young kids.
Fawcett said she is looking forward to the festival’s return. “I really missed it last year,” she said. “I like this event a lot. I like how folks flock to downtown.”
She added that the festival brings the community together during the depths of winter, which can be a very isolating time.
“People make a downtown connection and social connections and that’s important,” she said.