SOUTH PORTLAND — After a one-year hiatus, the South Portland Winterfest returns Friday, Jan. 31, with two days of indoor and outdoor events.
A festival highlight is the dedication at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 1, of the new outdoor skating rink at the Wainwright Recreation Complex, off Gary L. Maietta Parkway. Festival events also take place on the streets of Knightville, the pond at Mill Creek Park and the Community Center at 21 Nelson Road.
Winterfest kicks off Jan. 31 with a 5:30 p.m. luminary walk from Cia Cafe at 72 Ocean St. to Mill Creek Park. Knightville businesses will provide entertainment and special deals beginning at 4:30 p.m. After the walk, the public is invited to skate at the park from 6-8 p.m., and Buffalo Wild Wings will host a wings eating contest at the park.
Once dedicated, the new rink, donated to the city by the Soucy family and Port Harbor Marine, will host an ice hockey clinic, turkey curling, and a pond hockey tournament. The complex will also host a snow sculpting contest, cross country skiing, wagon rides and snow shoeing.
Hearty eating is also a part of the festival, with a pancake breakfast at J.P. Thornton’s at 740 Broadway from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Feb. 1, sponsored by the Cape Elizabeth Lions Club.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Community Center will host a chili and chowder challenge to benefit the South Portland High School ice hockey team. The public is invited to enter the competition, but registration ends Jan. 24. Contact Lisa Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or hockey booster Karen Goldberg at 899-8957.
A free festival scavenger hunt, sponsored by the Rotary Club and South Portland Cape Elizabeth Buy Local, is underway through Jan. 27. For more information on the hunt, visit Nonesuch Books at 50 Market St. in the Mill Creek Shopping Center, or Mutty Paws at 79 Lincoln St.
Most events are free, all are open to the public. For a full listing of Winterfest events and times, visit bit.ly/1dJQaLP.