The ice was a little slushy in spots, but that didn't stop people from going out on the lake during “Fun in the Snow at Black Moshannon” Saturday at Black Moshannon State Park in Philipsburg.
Ice skating, broom ball, ice bowling, snowshoeing and curling were among the activities to choose from at the festival in an effort to get people to come out and see what the park has to offer in the colder months, said Tim Watson, a Penn State Intern at Black Moshannon. Despite some initial concerns that the warm weather would delay or cancel the festival, the ice on the lake remained thick enough for the event, Watson said.
“It’s a such a good thing for people to get outside in the winter time, and have fun in your state park all year long, all life long,” Watson (senior-recreation, park and tourism management) said.
The chance to try curling drew in Penn State student Taylor Blyth and a few of his friends.
“I have wanted to try curling for the past couple years after watching it at the Olympics, so it was pretty awesome to get to do it,” Blyth (graduate-nuclear engineering) said.
Despite groups of ice fishermen out far on the ice, Tammy Green, of State College, said she was still a little apprehensive to go on the ice.
“It makes me a little nervous,” Green said. “I was afraid that it may crack and we would fall through.”
Green said she did enjoy snowshoeing despite the small amount of snow on the ground.
“It was fun, I was afraid I was going to slide down like skis, but you were able to just walk up and down the hill — It was a great new experience,” Green said.
The park offers different festivals and programs throughout the year, with the winter festival being the smallest, Park Manager Jessica Lavelua said. Lavelua said she expected 300 to 500 people to attend the event, while the summer Lumberjack Festival draws 3,000 to 5,000.
The winter festival is put on by the non-profit group Friends of Black Moshannon, and any money generated goes back into the park, Lavelua said.
The park offers a skating area on the ice throughout winter for those with skates and has a number of snowshoes for people to borrow, Lavelua said.