Forum River Center

The Forum River Center. (Spencer Lahr /

A three-day event running from Friday through Sunday aims to provide a platform for various social, religious, ethnic and cultural groups to share how they embrace the festive time of year.

The event is free and open to the public, though local vendors and artisans will be hosting booths, selling and showcasing their products throughout the weekend.

The festival begins at 6 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, the festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m.

The Winter Wonderland Carnival and Ice Festival is presented by Peacefully Engaging the Rome Community, and runs alongside the Forum On Ice, where community members can ice skate for $10 ages 5 and up and $3 for ages 4 and younger.

Mark Van Leuven, executive director of the festival, said in a press release the festival is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and learn about other cultures and how they celebrate the season.

“This is a great community event and we welcome everyone to participate,” Van Leuven said. “We hope to create an inviting and new community tradition for neighbors to get to know one another in a completely non-judgemental fashion by celebrating what most hold as a season of peace.”

A market of artistic, educational and culinary vendors will be featured, as well as performances including an Ugly Sweater Disco Party, a Night of Carolers, Choirs and Choristers, Los Chilenos — a traditional Mexican dance — by Romanos Unidos, an authentic Kwanzaa booth, the Pollard Greens — Jazz on Ice, local musicians, a magic show by Michael Frisbee, a clown, face painting, bouncy houses and more.

“The Winter Wonderland Carnival and Ice festival is an awesome opportunity to share and experience each other’s most sacred traditions,” Jessie Reed, PERC’s executive director said. “This can only broaden our horizons and promote better understanding among our neighbors.”

For more information about the event, visit the Facebook page or check out the website.

A full schedule of events is available at