NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The countdown is on for Nauticus’ Winterfest on the Wisconsin in Norfolk. Beginning Nov. 10, the Wisconsin will light up for the holidays with this annual display.

WAVY-TV is a proud sponsor for the Nauticus Winterfest this year.

Climb aboard the Wisconsin as it is decorated for the holidays with more than one million twinkling lights. The holiday display features glowing tunnels, foot bridges and more.
Jeremy Kilgore, executive director of Blue Steel Lighting, is in charge of the decorations.

He told 10 On Your Side his favorite aspect of the ship is what’s on the fantail.

“Basically, when you come out here, you’ll see nothing but blue lights with Christmas trees coming up out of it as if it were an ocean. We have fish jumping out of it and then right in the middle is one of our focal points, it’s the digital tree that starts up every few minutes and runs through a program, it’s just absolutely beautiful,” he said.

He said planning started at the beginning of the year.

“We start planning in February and then sometime in July we start fabrication,” he said.

He said most of the decorations are handmade and, as of Wednesday afternoon, his crews are almost done with the setup.

“The ship is 98% done at this point,” Kilgore said. “There’s just a lot of programming, behind the scenes work to do and now we’re getting ready to gear up for the marina.”

This year, the Mistletoe Marina will have new features.

Visit for live entertainment, a s’mores station, a craft bar scene and new outdoor holiday shopping.

Kilgore explained more about what the setup will look like.

“We’ll have fountains coming up out of the water,” Kilgore said. “We have all kinds of ornament projections, we have a maze to walk through of Christmas lights.”

Take a trip around the world with a new experience — NATO’s Passport to the Holidays.

While you visit, make sure to bundle up. It will snow at the marina each hour throughout the entire season.

Live entertainment includes magic shows, juggling acts, Santa tree lighting and your favorite green grouch. Check back for the entertainment schedule, coming soon.

Photo provided by Nauticus

Visitors will see dozens of hand-crafted tree silhouettes as part of this year’s design. They were crafted by students from Centura College Norfolk and Tidewater Tech. Part of the snow-covered tree forest will tower above guests, with some at 10 feet tall.

Winterfest showcases their work each year.

“Creating an artistically-designed tree forest has been our most ambitious and exciting project yet,” said Ben Clark, the director of outreach and development for Centura College, Aviation Institute of Maintenance and Tidewater Tech.

More information

Visit on select nights during the holiday season, from Nov. 10 through Jan. 1. Find specific information at the calendar here.

Tickets are on sale now. Admission is free for children 2 and under. They offer member and military discounts. The military discount is only available from Nov. 10 – Nov. 30. Click here to purchase.

Visit during the first-ever Community Night on Saturday, Nov. 18. Discounted tickets will be available for $7.57 for adults and children. Click here to purchase.

The Winterfest on the Wisconsin directly benefits the non-profit Nauticus Foundation.