LISBON — It’s still very much winter at Beaver Park — and the near-perfect weather Saturday brought people out in droves to the Winter Festival, which ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cars were lined all the way down Cotton Road, and cars were crammed anywhere they could fit in the parking lot.

This year, the event staff wrangled a shuttle van to help visitors who had to park nearly a mile away from the park.

The festival featured ice-carving and snowshoeing, as well as the exciting return of dog sledding. 

A number of families with young children were out Saturday, playing in the snow and ice at Beaver Park. 

Susan Peterson, 9-year-old daughter Allison, and dad Cliff were out enjoying snowshoeing and sledding down the snowbank. 

“We came out because it’s a beautiful day and there’s so much to see and do,” Cliff said. “We wanted to come last year, but it was too cold.” 

They were on their way to the dog-sledding area, hoping to get a ride. 

L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School was at the festival with snowshoes and cross-country skis that visitors could borrow. 

“We do all sorts of winter programming,” said Peter Hutchinson, one of the Discovery School organizers. “It’s just nice to get outside — not a lot of kids get outdoors anymore.”

Riverside Wood Carving had a table set up with carvings for sale and display. 

Danielle Waters said she and her husband, Greg, take care of the business responsibilities together, while he does most of the carving. They use chainsaws, sanding tools, stain and paints. 

“We got a call from Cherrie (Garnett), and we did the festival last year to display what we do,” Waters said. She said she was excited to come back this year and hopes to come back every year, Danielle Waters said.

The carvings that take the longest are probably the Komodo dragon or the turkey, “mostly because of the painting time” involved, she said. 

They also do a lot of custom dog carvings and can go to requested locations and carve tree stumps in the shape of one’s beloved pet. 

The lodge at the center of the park offered a warm reprieve from the winter day, complete with a running wood stove, fresh, homemade doughnuts and tables where festivalgoers could sit and recuperate. 

Jay Bluk from SubZero Ice Carvings spent the morning carving out a beaver from a block of ice. He said at events he usually carves for three or four hours, but in his studio, it takes about half that time. 

“That’s how long it is for a demo,” he said. “I do it for the show.”

Amanda Stevens and her daughter, Kinsley, were out searching for the best spot to go snowshoeing in the park. Amanda’s dad, Mark Stevens, is the Parks Department director.

This was Kinsley’s second time snowshoeing, and she said she’s getting better at it. 

“There’s good food,” Amanda Stevens said. “The ice sculpture is really cool.”

Kinsley said her favorite part of the festival was the dog sledding. 

Cherrie Garnett, Lisbon Parks Department programmer, said a snowbank was added for sledding, as well as antique snowmobiles and an ice-skating pond. 

“People have been bringing their skates out to the pond,” Garnett said. “Last year, it wasn’t frozen enough to have people skating. We tried to build on the fun stuff, and we already have more ideas form next year.” 

Beaver Park is open year round. The festival is free to attend, and normal park entrance is $2 for residents of Lisbon and $4 for non-residents. 


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