Officials: Winterfest Has Drawn More Than 53K Skaters

by Categorized: Weather Date:

Since it opened in late November, Winterfest has drawn more than 53,000 skaters, roughly the same amount as last year, officials said Tuesday. The event closes on Saturday.

Winterfest opened in late November.

Winterfest opened in late November.

This year’s festival is longer than last year’s. Last winter it ran through Jan. 21.

Winterfest attracted more than 54,000 skaters last year, officials have said.

Kristina Newman-Scott, the city’s marketing director, said organizers expected higher attendance this season, but bitter cold temperatures and snow storms forced the city to close the rink four full days and six partial days.

“If we didn’t have the weather we had, we would have easily had over 60,000 skaters,” Newman-Scott said. “I’m really happy with the turnout.”

More than 7,000 people rode the Bushnell Park carousel during the festival, she said.

Winterfest costs about $350,000 and is funded largely by corporate donations.

Organizers have raised $328,466, Newman-Scott said Tuesday. Major contributors include Travelers, United Technologies, LAZ Parking, Northeast Utilities, The Phoenix Companies Inc. and Aetna.The City of Hartford contributed about $150,000, Newman-Scott said.

The rink will close for the season Saturday at 8 p.m.

We’ll have more on this later this week in The Courant.

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