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Friday, January 14, 2022

CHANGES MADE TO WINTERFEST SCHEDULE FOR THIS SATURDAY, JAN. 15

 “Winterfest is a go and everything is free but we have made changes to the schedule as a result of Thursday’s updated weather forecast,” said Tim Morey, one of the organizers.

Winterfest 2022 is this Saturday, Jan. 15 at Hills Creek State Park in Charleston Township, eight miles from Wellsboro. The park's address is 111 Spillway Road, Wellsboro, PA 16901.

Because it is predicted to be colder than in other years, organizers decided to start Winterfest events at 11 a.m. rather than 10 a.m. and end them at 1:30 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. to reduce the amount of time the public would be outdoors. “People need to dress for the weather,” said Morey.

“We are keeping an eye on the weather forecast for Saturday. The changes we made yesterday are posted at https://www.facebook.com/HillsCreekStatePark/ and at https://www.stepoutdoors.org/,” Morey said. “If other changes become necessary, they will also be posted at both sites.”

Free, fun, family-friendly activities will begin at 11 a.m. with free hot dogs and hot chocolate available until gone. Fire rings and burn barrels will help visitors stay warm.

“It looks like the ice on Hills Creek Lake will be seven inches in depth by Saturday, thick enough to hold the 30-minute ice fishing program from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with tips and tricks on how to get started and to allow people to ice skate between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.,” Morey said. Ice skates will be available for youth and adults to sign out and use free; quantities are limited. Those who have their own skates are encouraged to bring them.

Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. will be the ice fishing display and an opportunity to build a free bluebird nesting box to take home (one per family while supplies last) and free make-and-take children's crafts, such as pinecone bird feeders made using peanut butter or sunflower seed butter. The Pennsylvania Game Commission provides the bluebird nesting boxes and local birders assist people in building them.

Visitors can participate in a 30-minute bird walk at 11:30 a.m. or at 12:30 p.m. with local birders from the Tiadaghton Audubon Society serving as guides. Bring binoculars and cameras. Some binoculars and field guides will be provided to be used free on the walk.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the local birders group will also have a display featuring free brochures that visitors can take home. One is about landscaping with native garden plants to attract birds. Another is about how to make windows in homes and businesses safer for birds. Each year, hundreds of millions of birds die as a result of crashing into windows.

At noon and again at 1 p.m. will be a 15-minute interactive talk on “Animals in Winter” for all ages with a display of photographs, mounts, furs and other hands-on examples of animal adaptations. During this program, discover the different ways Pennsylvania wildlife spend the winter and adaptations that help them to survive.

Cancelled as of Thursday due to a lack of snow are sledding, tubing and tobogganing down Beach Front Hill and the cross-country skiing and snowshoeing mini-clinics.

For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/HillsCreekStatePark/ or https://www.stepoutdoors.org/ or call Hills Creek State Park at 570-724-4246 today, Friday, Jan. 14 before 4pm.

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