Near perfect conditions prevailed Saturday on the sledding hill at Portland’s Payson Park, where hundreds of people showed up for the 11th annual WinterKids Welcome to Winter Festival to try out winter outdoor sports.

With the temperature hovering at 15 degrees under sunny skies, sledders flew down the hill fast enough to make it over the hump at the bottom.

“I love epic sledding hills, the sense of blood rushing through you, and panting,” said Maddie Barron Morse, 11, of Westbrook.

Maddie and other aficionados of winter sports turned out for the festival, which features a hat and mitten give-away, cocoa and a chance to try out snowshoeing, skating, sledding and, this year for the first time, Zumba dancing in the snow.

Originally designed to introduce newly arrived immigrant children to the plus side of living in a northern climate, the event was opened up to the general public this year.

“It was so successful, we said, ‘Let’s target everybody,'” said Julie Mulkern, executive director of WinterKids.

The 15-year-old nonprofit agency and its four paid staff members reach about 21,000 Maine children a year through family and school programs and community events.

Phalla Porng of Portland said she has brought her two children every year for the past three years.

“It’s better this year than last year when it was very cold,” said Porng.

Oday Noorildeen of Portland held his daughter, Nerym, 2, with snowshoes strapped to his feet while his son, Zaide, 4, tried on a Spiderman face hat.

“I like playing with the kids in the snow,” said Noorildeen, an Iraqi immigrant.

Aaron Brady of Portland and his son, Emmett, 5, took turns riding down the hill in a toboggan and two sleds.

“This is fun because there is so much activity,” said Brady.

Tiffany Jones of Orlando, Florida, at the festival with her boyfriend, Jonathan Newell, who grew up in Cape Elizabeth, took her first sled ride Saturday.

“I got snow in my hair and snow in my shoes,” said Jones, a native of Las Vegas.

Jones, who was bundled up in two winter coats, said sledding turned out to be much more fun than she imagined.

“This is great. Where I grew up, all we did was swim,” said Jones.

Meanwhile, her boyfriend’s father, Chris Newell of Cape Elizabeth, joined in for a Zumba session in the snow at the insistence of his daughter, Jackie Newell, a volunteer at the festival.

“It’s fun,” Chris Newell said.

Jackie Newell said getting her father to try out Zumba was a blast.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday,” she said.