The annual Lisbon Winter Festival in Beaver Park was canceled this year due to fluctuating temperatures and a lack of snow.
“The ice hasn’t even frozen on the pond yet,” said Lisbon parks and recreation director Mark Stevens. “We couldn’t reschedule it because the people helping us organize the event are already booked for other events like dog sledding in February so we decided to cancel it for this year.”
The event attracts around 400 people to the city.
“People can see what the weather is like here,” Stevens said. “There haven’t been many snowmobiles I’ve seen here, and they have to travel north to get good snow, and we use snowmobiles to maintain our trails.”
Stevens said his department organizes other events, such as the city’s basketball league that started last weekend for children in kindergarten through 6th grade at the Lisbon Community School.
On February 12, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Lisbon Police Department will host an ice skating party at Beaver Park, which will be open to everyone. There will be food and live music on site.
Stevens said there was a minimum cost to organize the event given that two departments are hosting it.
“We’re going to buy hot dogs and stuff,” Stevens said. “What’s great about this event is that it’s inexpensive. We want people to go out with their families and enjoy the outdoors.
The park is over 300 acres, with miles of trails for cross-country skiing, mountain biking, walking, and teeming with wildlife.
People can snowshoe or ice fish at the second pond, Stevens said.
Lisbon Police Chief and Acting City Manager Ryan McGee said there were many children in the community they wanted to get involved with by organizing outdoor activities.
“Several officers and I will be teaching kids how to ice fish, use certain fishing lures and what kind of baits are used for certain fish,” McGee said. “The recreation department will have snowshoes on site so people can use them and snowshoe on the trails in Beaver Park.”
McGee said they also plan to have a few cruisers and fire trucks on site so the kids can check them out and learn how the special response vehicles work.
“Sometimes in the winter things can get dark, so the recreation department and my officers here thought it was a good idea to have a community policing event,” McGee said. “The police department is also planning to buy a whole bunch of raffle fishing gear so we can have a family that can go home with a full set of ice fishing gear.”
More details on the Ice Skating Party will soon be available on the Lisbon Parks and Recreation website lisbonme.org/parks-recreation.
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