There was no cross-country skiing, and people hiked without snowshoes. Campfires burned without anyone huddled around them.
Visitors to Lackawanna State Park joked that Saturday’s event should have been called Springfest, and not Winterfest. But with temperatures approaching 60 degrees, the event saw some of the largest crowds in its more than 10-year history.
“It’s awesome,” 6-year-old Bryce Haldeman said of both the weather and Winterfest.
While the warm weather canceled events that required snow, families enjoyed hiking and children created pine-cone birdfeeders. A large crowd gathered near the boat launch for an ice rescue demonstration. Most people who had been ice fishing on the lake in the morning had come to shore by the afternoon. With only about 4 inches of ice on the lake, first responders showed visitors what could happen if someone fell through.
The demonstration, done by Thornhurst Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Dive Rescue Specialists out of Justus, Scott Twp., included various types of rescues — and warnings about the dangers of thin ice.
“We want to demonstrate a rescue, we don’t want to do a rescue,” said Ron Stewart, the vice president of Dive Rescue Specialists.
Terri DiMichele and her children, Nicholas, 10, and Norah, 2, worked on craft projects before checking out the ice rescues. Nicholas didn’t mind the lack of snow.
“I like it when it’s mild,” he said.