As the holiday season is starting in the midst of a pandemic, winter activities have had to alter their operations. The newest of these events is “Winter on Broad”, a 160,000 square foot holiday lights display in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center.
I spoke with Andrea Helfrich, an area host at the Wells Fargo Center, about how the idea came to be. She said, “We’ve been racking our brains to come up with a creative way to still make something happen here at the building.” With no events going on inside the Wells Fargo Center, the parking lot has remained empty. Helfrich explained that this was a big reason for choosing to open Winter on Broad: “Since we’ve got this parking lot, that’s massive, the team came up with this.”
Visitors are able to walk around the display and see an array of light sculptures, including a 25-foot reindeer, a 20-foot ornament, and a glowing archway. Along with the abundance of photo opportunities, there are vendors aimed at helping people cross things off their Christmas shopping list. There are also 4 separate food and beverage vendors spread across the lot.
Keeping guests safe was another important aspect of Winter on Broad. There are hand sanitizing stations placed around the event, a mask-wearing requirement, and staff who are in charge of making sure social distancing occurs. I spoke with one guest, Victoria Moffitt, who said she was happy with the ways Winter on Broad is keeping people safe, “they’re having everyone be six feet apart, they’re not allowed to walk around with food or drink, you have to have your mask on, it’s been amazing.” Another way that the event has been keeping guests safe is through timed tickets. This is a way to keep the number of visitors in the lot under the city requirements.
With stay-at-home orders around the area, Mike Wood, a South Jersey resident, says events like this are important for keeping the holiday spirit, “sometimes a trip to the mailbox is our adventure for the day so its really important to have to do in the midst of this pandemic.”
Winter on Broad will be open until January 2nd and tickets can be bought on the Wells Fargo Center webpage