Mount Blue State Park’s Winter Family Fun Day draws crowd

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WELD — More than 500 people of all ages participated in Mount Blue State Park’s Winter Family Fun Day on Feb. 4.

“This was the fourth year that the park held the family fun day, and it grows in popularity every year,” Park Manager Bruce Farnham said Friday.

“It has provided Maine residents an opportunity to experience all that Mt. Blue has to offer in the wintertime,” he said.

Using equipment from the park’s new “Take It Outside” ski and snowshoe trailer, families got cross-country skiing and snowshoe instruction before trying the sports, Farnham said.

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Ice skating on the park’s outdoor rink — known as the most beautiful outdoor rink in Maine — also was very popular, he said.

Hay rides and tote sled rides were offered throughout the day.

“Sledding on Center Hill drew eager downhill flyers, with local snowmobile club President Bob Paine and park staff continually shuttling people up the hill on dogsleds towed by snowmobiles,” Farnham said.

A winter camping demonstration and an outdoor nature center display provided visitors the chance to learn more about nature in winter and how to safely experience it.

“Everyone in attendance enjoyed a lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, chili, corn chowder and an abundance of other goodies prepared by park volunteers,” he said.

The event was sponsored by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, under the Maine Department of Conservation, Farmington Hannaford Supermarket, Franklin Savings Bank; Farmington Irving, Northern Light’s Hearth and Sports, Maine Winter Sports, Poland Spring, the Skoolhouse Variety, Weld General Store and Wicked Joe Coffee.

Farnham said the park would like to thank all of the local volunteers who helped make the day a big success: Lisa and Purse Drapeau, Daphne Proctor, Cindy Cormier, Ginger Jordan Hillary, Stevie Lee, Bob and Christie Paine, Laurie and Mike Pratt, Joanne and Neil Stinneford, Brian White, Erna White, Shannon Cuthbertson, Donna Young, Friends of Maine State Parks, MDOC employees, Benjamin Black Bear and Smokey Bear.

Mount Blue State Park is open for winter activities. For more information, call the park at (207) 585-2261. For more information on Maine state parks, visit www.parksandlands.com

 tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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