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Weather doesn't stop Portland winter festival

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Weather doesn't stop Portland winter festival

PORTLAND — Fickle weather this month will have no affect on the 10th annual Welcome to Winter Festival.

The event, which is scheduled for 12:30-2:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25, at Payson Park, was never imperiled by a string of relatively warm days in January and a temporary lack of snow, according to Julie Mulkern, executive director of WinterKids, the nonprofit group organizing the festival.

"We are WinterKids, not snow kids," she said. "Although the snow makes everything really fun, we want kids to get outside and (be) active no matter the conditions, as long as they are dressed appropriately."

Other winter festivals haven't been so lucky this month. Unseasonably warm temperatures led Scarborough to postpone its winter festival from Jan. 18 to Jan. 25. L.L. Bean canceled its yearly carnival for lack of snow.

The Welcome to Winter Festival was created a decade ago to introduce immigrant families to winter activities such as sledding, snowshoeing, or drinking hot chocolate. Since then, nearly 3,000 people have participated, Mulkern said. 

About 30 companies have helped sponsor this year's event, which is free and open to everyone. For more information, visit www.winterkids.org.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or bmccanna@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.