It is fun to play in the snow, as these young people did at Biddeford WinterFest back in 2017. WinterFest returns Feb. 3-5 with lots of fun activities, food, free raffles, entertainment and more. Courtesy Photo

BIDDEFORD — This year’s WinterFest in Biddeford is being called a “cabin fever busting” weekend. There are big plans for sledding downtown, skating, and a ton of downtown fun, from wagon rides to bike raffles and an outdoor performance stage. There are  musical and comedy productions at City Theater and a poker crawl — where a great hand can result in a basket full of winning prizes.

WinterFest will take place Feb. 3-5.

“… we have events running from Friday night through Sunday — and most of it is free,” said Heart of Biddeford Director Delilah Poupore, who is among the organizers.

The weekend kicks off with the annual adults only First Night Sledding Party at 6 p.m. Friday in City Square. The event is co-sponsored by Blaze Brewing, so if there is not enough snow for sledding, there will still be a fun party at Blaze and ticketholders get a free beverage, said Poupore.

Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant is enthusiastic about the unveiling of the WinterFest Mascot on Saturday afternoon. Last year, Engine coordinated a community design competition, and a winner was chosen at WinterFest. With the help of seamstress Jessica Johnson, the mascot will be brought to life.

“Once the community meets François, we think they’ll feel even more connected to the pride and spirit of Biddeford Winterfest,” said Casavant.


Tickets are for sale on the City Theater website for Friday night’s “Imagine,” a Beatles Solo Years performance by Joe Boucher. Then, Saturday night features Comedian Juston McKinney. A former Biddeford native and City Theater favorite, McKinney returns with lots of new material designed to have theater goers laughing in their seats.

Organizers say that if there is snow the sledding hill on Adams Street will be ready for action on Saturday.

WinterFest began when Casavant and long-time community volunteer John Maxson decided to build a sledding hill in the center of downtown in 2012. Now hundreds of people put on their snow suits for the main event in City Square on the first Saturday of February.

“I love to see how kids’ faces light up when they see the sledding hill, the huge bike giveaway, a pizza POLARpalooza, horse and wagon rides, and performances on the outdoor main stage,” said Casavant.

The pizza is free, and New Life Church will be dispensing free hot dogs and hot cocoa — and providing handmade hats, scarves, and mittens.

There will be a variety of entertainment on the outdoor stage. Attendees are also invited to meet interactive characters too — like a beautiful princess or a dino or two.


With unpredictable weather, the planning committee has pledged that WinterFest will be a “snow or shine” event.

Organizers say the annual WinterFest Free Raffle is rising to new levels this year, with Walmart donating 30 kid’s bikes, and Apex Youth Connection adding more bikes to the total. Participants get their free raffle ticket, and the largest raffle will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday. Adults can also win gift certificates to Hannaford and tickets to a Maine Mariners game.

Finally on Sunday, Feb. 5, West Brook Skating Rink plays host for free ice skating. Rentals are available and free as well.

As for the sledding hill, Poupore explained that it is possible because construction companies volunteer to truck and pack snow onto Adams Street. She said the sledding hill crew includes Builders Supply, Dead River, Dee Quality Foundations, Larry Patoine Construction, New Life Church, Peters Construction and Excavation, and Thyng Paving. “Blizzard” sponsors are Bangor Savings and Buoy Local. “Storm” sponsors are The Lincoln Lofts, The Lincoln Hotel, M&T Bank, PeoplesChoice Credit Union, and Woodman Edmands Danylik Austin Smith & Jacques. “Flurries” sponsors are Batson River, Blaze Brewing Co., Camden National Bank, Casella, Infinity Credit Union, P&C Insurance, and Rousseau Insurance Agency.

WinterFest is possible thanks to a dedicated crew of volunteers from multiple organizations including Apex Youth Connection, Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce, Blaze Brewing Company, City of Biddeford, City Theater, Common Roots Studio, Engine, Heart of Biddeford, The Lincoln Hotel, McArthur Library, New Life Church, Soul Stitcher, and West Brook Skating Rink.

A complete schedule of WinterFest events can be found at:

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