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Lisbon Winterfest planning begins

Town officials watching weather forecast

Dec. 10, 2012

Town of Lisbon - Town officials are keeping a watchful eye on the extended weather forecast as they begin making plans for the fourth annual Winterfest ofrom 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 26 in Lisbon Town Park. Plans for next year's event include the installation of a large snow fort.

The snow fort is expected to be a large plastic culvert buried in the snow that will be big enough for children to crawl through, according to Park Superintendent John Greiten.

"I am not sure of its dimensions, but it is big enough for me to sit in. I think kids can have a lot of fun with it," he added.

"If John is going to build it, I am sure it will be creative," added Town Park Chairwoman Marlene Kumitsch.

All of the Winterfest events will take place on the lower level, north side of the park, adjacent to the Bug Line Recreational Trail.

Winterfest is one of two major events scheduledannually in the park at Lake Five and Oakwood roads near the northwest corner of the town.

The Heritage Festival, a historic re-enactment event, takes place during the summer

In addition to the snow fort, Winterfest this year will include sledding on the hill and ice skating on a rink created on the parking lot between the sledding hill and entrances to the Bug Line.

Hot dogs, chili, hot chocolate and hot cider will be served around a giant bonfire and inside a makeshift warming house that will be created by enclosing a park shelter between the foot of the sledding hill and the ice skating rink.

However, for most of the events to be successful snow and below freezing temperatures are necessary.

The weather has posed challenges for town officials and event planners since 2010, when the inaugural event was plagued by rain and warm temperatures.

In 2011, park officials were sweating out unseasonable weather again when last-minute heavy snows and cold snap gave them ideal conditions for the event.

In 2012, Mother Nature confused event planners by giving them cold weather and heavy snows in December, but in mid-January temperatures were in the 50s, and much of the snow in the park melted before the event.

The town's municipal neighbor, the Village of Sussex, postponed its winterfest because of the disagreeable weather conditions.

Three days before last year's town event, Greiten began improvising. He scraped snow off the ground in other sections of the park, including mounds of snow adjacent to parking lots, and hauled the snow to the sledding hill.

Using a dump truck and a tractor, he built a makeshift sled run about 4 feet wide and about 6 inches thick over the brown, barren ground from the top to the bottom of the sledding hill.

Park officials are hoping for better weather and fewer challenges for 2013.

Save the date

What: Lisbon Winterfest

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 26

Where: Lisbon Town Park

Events include: Sledding, ice skating, bonfire,

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