Anthony Ayer of Lisbon Falls walks along the Jesup Trail in Beaver Park in Lisbon. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

The annual Lisbon Winter Fest at Beaver Park has been canceled this year due to fluctuating temperatures and a shortage of snow.

“The ice hasn’t even frozen on the pond yet,” Lisbon Parks and Recreation Director Mark Stevens said. “We couldn’t postpone it, as people who help us organize the event are already booked for other events like dog sledding in February, so we decided to cancel it for this year.”

The event typically draws an estimated 400 people to the town.

“People can see what the weather looks like here,” said Stevens. “There hasn’t been many snowmobiles out that I have seen around here, and they have to travel north to get some good snow, and we use snowmobiles to groom our trails.”

Stevens said his department is organizing other events, like the in-town basketball league that started last weekend for K-6 children at Lisbon Community School.

On Feb. 12, the town’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Lisbon Police Department will organize an ice-skating party at Beaver Park, which will be open to everyone. There will be food and live music at the venue.

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Stevens said there is a bare minimum cost involved in organizing the event considering two departments host it.

“We are going to buy some hotdogs and stuff,” said Stevens. “What is great about this event is, it is inexpensive. We want people to bring their families out and enjoy the outdoors.”

The park encompasses more than 300 acres, with miles of trails for cross country skiing, mountain biking, walking, and it’s full of wildlife.

People can go snowshoeing or do ice fishing at the second pond, said Stevens.

Lisbon Police Chief and Interim Town Manager Ryan McGee said there are many children in the community that they want to get involved with by organizing outdoor activities.

“Several officers and I will be teaching kids how to ice fish, use certain fishing lures and what type of baits are used for certain fish,” McGee said. “The recreation department will have snowshoes on the site so people can use those and go snowshoeing on the trails down at Beaver Park.”

McGee said they are also planning to have a couple of cruisers and fire trucks on the site so that kids can check them out and learn how special response vehicles work.

“Sometimes in the wintertime, things can get gloomy, so the rec department and my officers here thought it was a good idea to have a community policing event,” said McGee. “The police department is also planning to buy a whole bunch of fishing gear to raffle off so that we can have a family that can go home with a full set of ice fishing gear.”

More details about the ice-skating party will be available soon on Lisbon Parks and Recreation website lisbonme.org/parks-recreation.


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