Winter festivities begin in Eau Claire

Eau Claire welcomes the holiday season with light displays, music, art and more

Lea Kopke

More stories from Lea Kopke


Photo by Can Stock Photography

At Pinehurst Park’s Winter After Hours, attendees can pick up a pair of ice skates to use the skating rink or full size hockey rink.

The Chippewa Falls Christmas Village

When: 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Nov. 22 through Jan. 1.

Where: Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls.

Cost: Free.

Irvine Park is transformed into the Christmas Village with more than 100,000 Christmas lights that make up more than 100 life-size Christmas scenes that are reminiscent of the Victorian era, with some even capturing historical scenes of Eau Claire. On Dec. 8 the park will host a “Walk Through the Park” event where paths will be open to walking traffic only.

Winter After Hours

When: 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday Nov. 29 through Feb. 28.

Where: Pinehurst Park, 3523 Delbert Rd., Eau Claire.

Cost: Access to facilities is free, but rentals come at an additional cost.

As the snow begins to fall, winter festivities begin at Pinehurst Park. Guests are welcome to partake in sledding, snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and winter kubb. Ice sculptures will be on display along the cross-country ski and fat-bike trails. Ice skates and snowshoes are available to rent, but the hot chocolate and music inside the warming house are complimentary to all.

Let It Glow and Clearwater Parade

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Nov. 30.

Where: Phoenix Park, 330 Riverfront Terrace, Eau Claire.

Cost: Free.

The Let it Glow tree lighting ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m in Phoenix Park. Afterwards visitors can see fireworks beginning at 6:30 p.m on the Grand Avenue bridge. The night will end with the Clearwater “How Sweet It Is” parade on West Grand Avenue and First Avenue. All proceeds from the event benefit youth recreation scholarships.

The Art of the Holidays

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Dec. 1.

Where: Pablo Center at the Confluence, 128 Graham Ave., Eau Claire.

Cost: Free.

People of all backgrounds are encouraged to come together and celebrate the coming of a new year at the Pablo Center at the Confluence. The Riverfront Room will host a day of family-friendly festivities including storytelling, music and crafts inspired by Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Hmong New Year, Diwali, Solstice Festivals, Eid and Soyal. Outside the Pablo Center visitors will find a Holiday Art Market filled with gifts from local vendors, free visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, horse drawn wagon rides and more. The day will end with the lighting of Eau Claire’s Christmas tree at 4:30 p.m.


When: noon to 4 p.m., Dec. 1 and Dec. 8.

Where: Lazy Monk Brewing, 97 W. Madison St., Eau Claire.

Cost: Free.

For the first two Saturdays of December, Lazy Monk Brewing is hosting an authentic German Christkindlmarkt to the Chippewa Valley. At this outdoor shopping market visitors can find holiday gifts made by local vendors. Vendors will include potters, chocolate, handcrafted wooden gifts, soaps, bakers and more.

UW-Eau Claire Holiday Concert

When: 2 and 6 p.m., Dec. 9.

Where: Pablo Center at the Confluence, 128 Graham Ave., Eau Claire.

Cost: $10.

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation welcomes the community to its 44th annual holiday concert, which will showcase hundreds of UW-Eau Claire students and faculty performing in the university’s major ensemble groups. The foundation has also commissioned a work by UW-Eau Claire alumnus Kyle Newmaster that will feature the poetry of Max Garland, former Wisconsin Poet Laureate.

Kopke can be reached at [email protected].