Winter Fun Day was in full swing Saturday at the , where dozens of families turned out to have some frosty fun.
This was the sixth year for the event, which ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and included horse-drawn wagon rides, arts and crafts, story telling and toys, performances by local a cappella groups, free hot chocolate, hot dogs, a food drive, representatives from local organizations and a Winter Animal Tracking program by local naturalists, Sue and Tom Harrington.
The centerpieces of Winter Fun Day were three ice sculptures, created with chainsaws, by members of UConn Dining Services.
Only one scheduled activity didn’t take place as planned – ice skating. The water in the rink wasn’t quite solid enough, explained the event’s coordinator, Kathleen Paterson. “It was frozen earlier, but it got so warm during the week.”
Paterson, who is the special projects coordinator of the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, said it takes approximately two months to organize the event, which is a collaboration between Mansfield Downtown Partnership and the .
Putting together the family-friendly event is “less intense” than some of the group’s other events, such as the upcoming Festival on the Green, which Paterson noted is in its ninth year.
The annual Festival on the Green draws over 3,000 visitors to the future site of Storrs Center to enjoy music, art, games and activities.
The Tour de Mansfield Village-to-Village Bike Tour, another big event through the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, draws riders of all ages and skill levels to enjoy rides through Mansfield’s historic villages.
“We work with Parks and Rec for this event,” Paterson said. “It takes place in July and includes a 20-mile ride, 40-mile ride and a 5-mile Family Fun Ride with a police escort around the campus.”