Hoist One At Bushnell WinterFest

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beerAlong with hot chocolate and a bigger skating rink for more family fun, something else is being added to Hartford’s downtown “WinterFest” at Bushnell Park.

Beer.

Billed as “The only thing better than happy hour is happy hour with ice-skating,” the park’s Pond House, located near the rink on the east end of the park, is being turned into a temporary beer garden as part of the seasonal festival.

Bloomfield Thomas Hooker beers will be sold at the beer garden on Friday, Dec. 13, Dec. 27, Jan .10 and Jan. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. weather permitting. Only those 21 and older will be served.

“There is a great, young, corporate audience that wants to hang out,” said Kristin Newman-Scott, who oversees marketing, cultural affairs and special events for the city. “This will be a managed space that will be well monitored,” she said about the beer garden. “We don’t expect anyone to drink profusely or become belligerent.”

A portion of the sales will be donated to the festival and on one evening, proceeds will be donatedwinterfest to the Bushnell Park Foundation.

Newman-Scott said it is not the first time a beer garden has been part of a city-sponsored event. She said beer gardens were also part of summer’s “Envisionfest” and “Movies in the Park.”

“It’s another opportunity to being new people downtown the other parts of the park,” she said.

The festival offers free skating and free skate rentals from 11 a.m. 8 p.m. seven days a week. There are also carousel rides Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $1. There will be free photos with Santa on Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 22.

WinterFest continues through Feb. 1.

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