The winter wonderland of Portsmouth is wrapping up earlier than expected this year.
The Friends of Portsmouth organizations, which hosts Winterfest, have announced that their annual Winterfest will cease festivities until next holiday season. This comes only a few weeks before the scheduled end of Portsmouth’s winter activities.
Nick Rutman, a member of Friends of Portsmouth, explained that the choice wasn’t super easy. He shared due to the weather, it was almost as if they were forced to close early.
Rutman said due to the recent storms scattering debris over Portsmouth it was the final nail in the coffin.
Friends of Portsmouth held their winter wrap-up meeting and discussed the decision to close, as well as the future of events within the city. The Ice Rink was a large talking point.
“The sun is nice, but not for skating,” Rutman said as he praised the warm January weather, but cursed it in the same breath for the end of ice skating.
While the ice-skating rink has closed for the rest of the season, Rutman shared the ice rink is in the process of being purchased outright. The purchase will allow Friends of Portsmouth to own the equipment and will no longer have to rent it each winter.
With the ownership of a major set of gear required to transform Portsmouth, it frees new funds up for new activities and a bigger and better Winterfest.
The Friends of Portsmouth agreed this year was much better than the previous. However, they are not satisfied, they are looking forward to next year’s event. While teasing the future, Rutman would give no concrete sneak peeks.
Rutman would give what he thought was a main talking point. He said this year’s Winterfest was huge, they brought in more than 2,000 more skaters than last season. Not to mention, another world record was broken.
“Winterfest is consistently growing; it’s getting bigger and showing,” Rutman said.
Thanks to the numbers, the organization was able to purchase the ice rink outright as previously stated.
“We are hitting the ground running,” Rutman said.
Coming off the winter festivities, Friends of Portsmouth are already locking onto their next targets. The organization is looking forward to a Plant Portsmouth day. No details were given as to the time or contents of the event.
Rutman also shared July 4 and River Days will both be big. The group is aiming high with 2020s events, and Rutman said they are all excited about what is to come in Portsmouth.
Reach Bailey Watts (740) 353-3101 Ext 1931
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