PORTLAND — The Welcome to Winter Festival, hosted by WinterKids and Portland Parks, Recreation and Facilities, will give hundreds of Maine kids the thrill of sledding, tubing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and more, Saturday, Jan. 18, from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., at Payson Park, in Portland.
The 14th annual family-friendly event, presented by Anthem and supported by Diversified Communications and AAA of Northern New England is free and open to the general public.
WinterKids will introduce a variety of outdoor winter activities complete with hot cocoa and coffee from Coffee By Design and snacks from the St. Brigid School and Better Business Bureau.
Scout Troop 1, from Portland, will demonstrate winter camping skills while keeping the “warm up station” toasty throughout the festivities.
Festival goers will enjoy music, and local mascots including Oakie (Oakhurst), L.L.Bear with the L.L.Bean Bootmobile, and the Portland Mariners’ own Beacon.
WMTW Channel 8 Meteorologist Sarah Long will emcee the event.
Children and their families will get a chance to take part in these fun winter activities:
Sledding / Tubing (children are encouraged to B.Y.O.S., Bring Your Own Sled)
Inflatable rafts on the sledding hill courtesy of Adventure Bound!
Snowshoeing and snow tubing with L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School
Ice Skating with Portland Gear Hub
Winter Camping Skills and Fire Pit Warming Station with Scout Troop 1 in Portland
A new WinterKids toddler zone with snowbank sledding, snow painting and more
L.L. Bean Boot Toss
WinterKids Scavenger Hunt with Prizes
Photo Booth with Better Business Bureau
Clothing giveaways courtesy of Reny’s and hand warmers courtesy of Kittery Trading Post
The park will be closed to traffic starting at 10:30 am. For parking, Custom Coach will run a shuttle from the Ocean Avenue School parking lot to Payson Park from 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.
“Our mission is to help children develop healthy lifelong habits through education and fun, outdoor winter activity,” said Julie Mulkern, executive director of WinterKids. “This event is a true community effort that showcases many welcoming, fun activities to help families stay healthy outdoors in the winter. Come join us!”
Sponsors and partners: Anthem BCBS, Diversified Communications, AAA of Northern New England, Portland Parks, Recreation and Facilities, Portland Police Department, Portland Fire Department, LL Bean O.D.S., Reny’s, Portland Gear Hub, Adventure Bound, Headlight AV, Paricon Sleds, Ocean Avenue School, Kittery Trading Post, Coffee By Design, Oakhurst, St. Brigid School, Custom Coach, Better Business Bureau, Friends of Payson Park, and Scout Troop One, Portland.
WinterKids is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to help children develop healthy lifelong habits through education and fun, outdoor winter activity. This year, WinterKids will reach 29,000 Maine and New Hampshire children through our family programs, school programs, and community events.
WinterKids’ Major Community Sponsor is Hannaford.
WinterKids’ Supporting Sponsors are Agren, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Irving Oil, L.L.Bean, Portland Glass, WEX, and WMTW Channel 8 and Maine’s The CW.
Learn more at WinterKids.org.