The city of Waupaca’s Parks and Recreation Department will celebrate the completion of its sled hill with its first ever Waupaca Winter Rec Fest.
The event will be held from 2-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at Swan Park.
“The main reason for the event is to hold a grand opening of the sled hill and also a thank you to those who made it possible. It’s also great for the community to come together in an event. Who doesn’t like sledding,” said Andrew Whitman, the city’s recreation program supervisor.
Foundry sand from Waupaca Foundry was used for the project. The sled hill opened in mid November.
Beneficial Reuse Management, of Milwaukee, approached the city several years with the idea of building a sled hill in the park.
The company contracts with the foundry and other companies to find uses for their industrial byproducts.
BRM, which has been working with Waupaca Foundry since 1999, is always looking for potential projects in the area that are in proximity to the foundry.
The Feb. 7 event will include activities, food, a grand opening ceremony and fireworks.
“Sledding will be the main attraction,” Whitman said. “We want families to come out and use it. The first 25 families will get one free plastic sled.”
Plans call for there to be games and activities, including the opportunity to go snowshoeing.
Tim Lencki, of Adventure Outfitters, will lead two snowshoe walks.
The first one will be at 3 p.m., while the second one will be a headlight walk and will begin at 6 p.m.
The walks will follow the trails around Swan Park, Whitman said.
Those who need snowshoe equipment may sign up for it inside the big tent on a first-come, first-served basis, for each walk.
A limited supply of snowshoes will be available, so those who have their own equipment and headlamps are asked to bring it to the event.
There is no cost to participate in the snowshoe walks.
The Waupaca Winter Rec Fest will also include Faith Community Church selling food and refreshments in the large heated tent.
As it gets closer to dusk, people will be able to make smores in the bonfire area, with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department providing the ingredients for them.
The sled hill’s grand opening and recognition ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m.
The event’s grand finale will be an approximately 15-minute fireworks show at 8 p.m.
Whitman said the Parks and Rec Department wants the winter festival to become an annual event.
“Hopefully families will come and check it out and hang out for a while and have a good time,” he said. “When the sled hill opened, I think people were excited. It’s nice to have a place to go. It’s really a safe, comfortable place to go for sledding. It’s nice for a community this size.”