Bigger and better than ever before, the City of Atascadero’s Winter Wonderland will be back this year on Friday, December 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. in Sunken Gardens and the downtown area.

Although it doesn’t snow often in Atascadero, rain or shine, there will be snow during this event — and lots of it.

“Last year we brought in 53 tons of snow and this year we are bringing in 65 tons of snow because we want to increase the snow pile areas to be more significant,” said Terrie Banish, Deputy City Manager of Outreach, Promotions & Events. “The snow is used to build the snow slide which we couldn’t do without the Atascadero Kiwanis Club. They are a huge part of this event. They build the snow sled area every year and they tear it down.”

Building the snow slide is such a massive feat, anyone who wants to volunteer either to build the ramp or dismantle it afterward is highly encouraged to do so.

The snow slide will be between Traffic Way and Entrada, the only part of the downtown area with a great slope for getting some serious sledding speed. There will also be age-specific snow play areas for ages 12 and under and for ages 13 and over.

To add to the wintry festivities, the Elk’s Club of Atascadero will have Joe’s Little Train; BubbleFun will be there with bounce houses, bungee jumping and obstacle courses; and more than 55 food and craft vendors will be scattered throughout the area between East Mall and Traffic Way offering a great variety of unique items to help you cross some holiday shopping off your to-do list as well as goodies such as gourmet hot chocolate.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be taking a day off from the North Pole to make an appearance and since he is the guest of honor, Santa will be leading the way by sledding down the snow ramp first along with his elves before they make their way to City Hall for visits with the kids.

Outside of City Hall, attendees will find entertainment by Atascadero Elementary and High School Concert and Show Choirs. There will also be performances by Motions Academy of Dance, Fine Arts Academy of Dance and Fine Arts Honor Choir as well as live DJing by Medina Light Show Designs.

Entertainment starts at 5 p.m. and keeps going until around 7:30 p.m.

A-Town Skate park will do a demonstration on East Mall and El Camino where there will be a band from 7 to 9 p.m.

The Winter Wonderland is a free event for all ages. According to Banish, around 10,000 people from all over the county are expected to attend the event throughout the course of the evening to witness the spectacular snowy paradise.

“Come and enjoy that event if you haven’t done it, it’s well worth it,” Banish said. “It’s a lot of fun and it really gets you in the holiday spirit.”

For more information, go to VisitAtascadero.com.

Getting through this together, Atascadero