breaking news

PHOTO: Car smashes into McDonald’s west of Boynton

PHOTOS: Vanilla Ice, Winterfest kick off holidays in Wellington


If “smiles are contagious,” rapper Vanilla Ice just gave Wellington a case of the grins.

The Wellington resident and pop culture icon headlined the village’s eighth annual Winterfest on Friday night, kicking off a string of holiday events taking place in Wellington over the next two weeks, including the Wellington Holiday Parade on Sunday.

Winterfest, a partnership between the village and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, merged this year with the KVJ Show Vanilla Ice Block Party, combining for one massive event that drew about 9,000 people to the Wellington Amphitheater complex.

RELATED

People in camp chairs, on blankets and sheets — and even an inflatable couch — weathered the warm, sticky night that preceded Saturday’s cold front, packing on the amphitheater lawn and spreading across the surrounding area for an evening of food, games and entertainment.

In addition to a performance by Vanilla Ice, the night’s festivities included the annual lighting of the village’s Christmas tree, a massive zipline and obstacle course for children, and performances by local musicians and groups.

This was the rapper’s eighth year taking part in Winterfest, and his 12th block party. “It gets bigger and bigger every year,” he said backstage at the amphitheater before his performance.

“They all know why we’re here and what we’re doing,” Vanilla Ice said of the crowd. Admission to the Winterfest was free, with a suggested donation of a free, unwrapped toy for Little Smiles, which provides toys to children in hospitals. Vanilla Ice and his partner, Wes Kain, take the toys to Palms West Children’s Hospital each Christmas.

“You’ll see kids in there and it touches you,” the rapper said. “… When I see the difference it can make, it’s amazing how you can really believe how smiles are contagious.”

Kain, who grew up in Greenacres, said over the years the charity has distributed more than 2 million toys. “It’s about giving back and making sure every one of those kids get toys,” Kain said.

Thousands of toys were collected Friday night, Little Smiles volunteers said. Wellington Chamber president Michael Ferreira said a lot of hard work goes into making Winterfest happen, to collect those toys. “Seeing those kids, seeing their faces, that makes it even more special,” he said.

Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig said she has been amazed to see Winterfest grow each year. “Vanilla Ice does this on his own time,” she noted. “And it just gets bigger and better.”

(Scroll down for more Winterfest photos and details on Wellington’s holiday parade.)



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

NEW: Seen him? Man sought after Roombas stolen from Royal Palm Walmart
NEW: Seen him? Man sought after Roombas stolen from Royal Palm Walmart

A man is wanted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office after he was caught on camera allegedly stealing vacuum cleaners from the Walmart in Royal Palm Beach. The incident took place Jan. 15 at the store Belvedere Road and State Road 7. According to PBSO, the man walked into the store and helped himself to “numerous” Roomba vacuum...
Group proposes gated community of apartments at old A.G. Holley site
Group proposes gated community of apartments at old A.G. Holley site

A gated community of 360 apartments could be the first phase of the residential section of the incoming Water Tower Commons development at the former A.G. Holley State Hospital site. The apartments would be 1-,2- and 3-bedrooms and would range in size from 694 to 1,268 square feet, according to Lantana documents. The apartments...
NEW: Baby drowns after Florida mom falls asleep in bathtub 
NEW: Baby drowns after Florida mom falls asleep in bathtub 

A mother in Melbourne Beach faces manslaughter charges after her 10-month-old son drowned in a bathtub while she was asleep, deputies said.  The incident happened at a motel on Dec. 6, where deputies believe Feeney had been drinking before she took a bath with the child. When Feeney woke up in the tub, the child was underwater and was unresponsive...
Applications open for free Palm Beach County criminal justice academy
Applications open for free Palm Beach County criminal justice academy

Applications are being sought for the 34th Citizen’s Justice Academy aimed at teaching Palm Beach County residents about the criminal justice system. The free 12-week program will focus on the West Palm Beach Police Department, according to the county Criminal Justice Commission, which sponsors the academy. Police Chief Sarah Mooney has agreed...
JUST IN: Woman flown to hospital after Royal Palm crash
JUST IN: Woman flown to hospital after Royal Palm crash

A woman was flown Monday to St. Mary’s Medical Center after a two-vehicle crash in Royal Palm Beach, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Firefighters had to pull the woman from her vehicle using the jaws of life, spokesman Capt. Albert Borroto said. The crash took place at about 2 p.m. at Southern Boulevard and State Road 7. The condition...
More Stories