PORTLAND – When Chomba Kaluba arrived from Zambia as a college student eight years ago, he had no idea what a Maine winter was like.

The former Southern Maine Community College student, who graduated from Bates College, said he had never seen snow.

“Just touching it and playing in it was fun,” said Kaluba, who now teaches sociology at SMCC.

So Kaluba said he was eager to help recently arrived immigrants discover the joys of  sledding, skating and other winter sports at the WinterKids 9th Annual Welcome tot Winter Festival Saturday at Payson Park where he served cocoa and other treats to the hundreds of people who turned out.

“I know how it feels,” said Kaluba.

The free event is designed to help families new to Maine winters to learn how to stay warm and enjoy the outdoors.