Winterfest brings the holiday spirit to Mill Valley

A morning drizzle on Dec. 4 did not stop the annual Winterfest from taking place in downtown Mill Valley. The event, a celebration of the holiday season, featured local singers, dancers and musicians, as well as an array of games, overall bringing the festive spirit to the community.

Showcasing their tap talents, dancers from the Happy Feet Holiday Hoofer take part in the annual Mill Valley Winterfest. (Sam Kimball)

Producer of the event, Steve Bajor, enjoys seeing the gathering take place every year. As a Mill Valley native, Bajor recognizes the celebration’s main goals, remembering attending similar events throughout his childhood.

“When [I was] growing up in this town, it was all about kids and families,” Bajor said. “There has been a return in spirit in the past couple of years, and it’s nice to see that this event really celebrates [the people of Marin]. I love to put the event together and see the joy it brings. It’s all about the community.”

Headlining the list of performers, the Happy Feet Holiday Hoofer showcased their tap skills, dancing to Christmas and holiday tunes in front of a packed crowd. Senior Addie Stoterau has danced at the Happy Feet Dance School for four years and highlights the unique structure of this specific performance. 

“My favorite part of Winterfest is being able to tap outside. It’s great to [have the opportunity to] tap somewhere other than a stage and hear the sound it makes,” Stoterau said. “I love being able to [perform] with all of my friends in front of the community.”

Children and parents alike try their luck at the giant slide. (Sam Kimball)

Other performers included the Marin Conservatory of Dance, Marin Girls Chorus and Roco Dance and Fitness who shared their talents with the community throughout the day. Lara Treharne-Jones, a junior at Tamalpais High School, frequently attends the event, and emphasizes the importance of the community, looking back on her performance at this very event years ago.

“I love Winterfest since it is a great opportunity for youth performers to show off what they have been working on all year,” Treharne-Jones said. “To perform for the community is wonderful, and now as a member of the audience, I love to give the performers joy and praise for their hard work. Winterfest is the perfect way to kick off December and the festive season.”