SoWa Winter Festival Looks to Bring Festive Weekend, Great Shopping to South End

By Seth Daniel

Anyone wanting to get away from the Mall to do holiday shopping with a local flair, have a few drinks with festive friends, and shake hands with Santa should look no further than the SoWa Winter Festival this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Bradley St. Armand of GTI Properties said they are very busy this week making preparations for the Festival, which he said will stretch out across the SoWa campus – from the Power Station to the Thayer Street galleries.

The Power Station has been retrofitted to provide some heat to its open air feel for comfort, where there will be 110 vendors selling hand-made goods, art and specialty foods. Additionally, Area 4 Restaurant will be serving cocktails inside too, and there will be a charity gift-wrapping station inside for Hearth Inc.

On Thayer Street, there will be the first-ever free ‘Winter Wine Land’ wine tasting hosted by Wine Riot of Tremont Street, and four Food Trucks – such as Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and Bone Daddy Burgers – will also be stationed there. Thayer Street is home to more than 100 one-of-a-kind shops, galleries and boutiques and participants would do well to browse and buy gifts there as well.

“We wanted it to be expansive,” he said. “Last year, we had a big tent with about 50 vendors on Thayer Street and it was busy. Soon, it became a little tight and we definitely knew we wanted to expand it. The Power Station makes the perfect venue for it. We also wanted make sure to include the artist galleries and shops on Thayer Street. So, we included programming over there as well.”

The Friday night opening of the Winter Festival, between 5-9 p.m., coincides with the monthly SoWa First Friday open studio at the Artist’s Guild on Thayer Street.

There will also be lights throughout the district and Santa Claus will be stationed at a place to be determined.

St. Armand said they will have carolers singing throughout the district too.

They include the BU Boston’s, the SoundOff, and the MistleTones.

Also, don’t forget the snow machines, which St. Armand said would be cranking out the white stuff all weekend, unless of course, it really snows.

All of it makes yet another argument for SoWa becoming the official Art and Design District of Boston.

The hours for the Winter Festival will be 5-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 and 4.

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