Vanilla Ice returns for massive Winterfest in Wellington with KVJ Show

Two huge Palm Beach County events are merging this year and Wellington officials are preparing for a massive December crowd at the amphitheater.

The KVJ Show’s annual Vanilla Ice Block Party has joined Winterfest, a partnership between the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and the village, to put on the mega event from 6-10 p.m., Friday, Dec. 8 at the Wellington Amphitheater complex.

“Due to Vanilla Ice’s heavy tour date schedule, the date needed to occur in December for both events,” said Michela Green, Wellington chamber executive director. “The chamber was happy to invite the KVJ Show to be part of our event.”

PHOTOS: Vanilla Ice rehabs Wellington house

Organizers anticipate crowds of close to 8,000 for the event that would sprawl across the several acres of parking lots and lawns that surround the ampitheater. A large grassy area between the Wellington Community Center and Village Hall will be home to Blizzard Beach, where families can ice skate, zipline, run an obstacle course and play in snow.

“We have more than enough room to accommodate everyone,” Green said.

Winterfest, which began in 2010, has hosted more than 8,000 attendees in the past, when it was at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in 2015. If 8,000 people turn out this year, Wellington cultural programs and facilities manager Joe Piconcelli said it would be the largest event ever at the amphitheater.

READ: Wellington polo estate sells for $17 million, back on market within a week

Is that enough for the crowds and traffic?

“It should be able to handle it,” Piconcelli said, adding that more than 4,000 is most people the amphitheater area has hosted.

Parking will be off-site with a free shuttle. For those unfamiliar with Wellington, cards will be handed out to attendees with information on where to park and ride or park and walk, Green said. The chamber has used the cards in past, and they “worked great,” she added.

Rob Van Winkle — the rapper known as Vanilla Ice — has participated in Winterfest for several years, raising money for local charities and taking time to sign autographs and engage with the community, Green said. Ice has held his annual event throughout Palm Beach County, including downtown West Palm Beach establishments and at Downtown at the Gardens.

“The fact that he does this event for Wellington is definitely one of the most driving forces behind the popularity of it,” she noted.

The chamber also has lined up more than 15 performers, ranging from dance groups to musicians and more. “We’ve been able to find a nice mix of genres as well as styles,” Green said. “They’re just amazing.”

LIST: 5 great things about the green markets in Wellington and Royal Palm

Food trucks and vendors will offer a mix of fare, from Greek food to tacos and the usual festival line-up. There also will be shopping, with booths set up offering a range of boutique, handmade and artisan goods.

“It’s become a much-anticipated community event,” Green said. “It’s for everyone. … It’s family-friendly and there’s lots to do for kids.”

Wellington will have its tree-lighting at the event. Attendees are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to donate to Little Smiles, which will deliver the items to children in local hospitals.

Admission to Winterfest is free, but Green said the event for the first time will sell separate admission to the activities to off-set the cost of hiring the vendors. While a final price hasn’t been set, she said it will be between $10 and $15.

For more information or to become a sponsor or vendor, go to

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Palm Beach Gardens voters to get 3 ballot questions in August
Palm Beach Gardens voters to get 3 ballot questions in August

Palm Beach Gardens voters may have a sense of deja vu come August when they see similar questions on their ballots to those that appeared in March. Palm Beach Gardens is revisiting proposed changes to term limits and the city charter, after a judge tossed questions from the March ballot. The judge determined the questions were misleading after the...
Trump in Palm Beach: First lady but not president will attend Barbara Bush funeral
Trump in Palm Beach: First lady but not president will attend Barbara Bush funeral

The White House announced today that Donald Trump would not attend former first lady Barbara Bush's memorial service Saturday "to avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service." The president is expected to stay at Mar-a-Lago while first lady Melania Trump flies to Houston...
Pilots find small monkey at shopping center in Hallandale Beach 
Pilots find small monkey at shopping center in Hallandale Beach 

A monkey was seen by a group of pilots getting coffee today at the Diplomat Shopping Center in Hallandale Beach. Several monkeys have been spotted in South Florida recently, WPLG reports. Monkeys were also seen in North Miami Beach and Cooper City. The Aventura Police Department received calls Tuesday about a similar monkey that may be in the area...
Shake up in PBC judicial races: McAuliffe switches seats; Tendrich out
Shake up in PBC judicial races: McAuliffe switches seats; Tendrich out

With more than a week to go before candidates officially begin qualifying for the August elections, there has already been some shake-ups in Palm Beach County’s judicial races. Former Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe has switched seats and will no longer run against Scott Kerner, the brother of County Commissioner David Kerner...
Boca High co-valedictorian inspired by grandfather
Boca High co-valedictorian inspired by grandfather

When she was a sophomore at Boca Raton High School, Lauren Morejón co-founded and led an organization called Project Outreach with her twin sister, AnaMichele. They developed a team of volunteers to produce an inspiring, uplifting show of dancers and singers titled “I Rise,” dedicated to their late grandfather. For Lauren, 17, the...
More Stories