Ice skating is nice skating and the new warming hut at Milford’s Shepard Park helps

MILFORD – Last Saturday’s Winter Festival was blessed with cold, but not too cold weather after being postponed for a week when the thermometer creeped up a little too high.

The highlight of the annual event was a ribbon-cutting for a 16-by-32-feet warming hut, built by two volunteer groups, the town Recreation Commission and MICE (Milford Ice), a group of ice hockey and ice skating enthusiasts who began building the temporary ice rink at Shepard Park three years ago.

Efforts were coordinated by Rick Mossey, and the hut was built with mostly volunteer labor and donations, as well as money from the Shepard Park Trust. No tax money was used for the hut.

Now, skaters have a place to change into their skates and have cubbies for their shoes and boots. And MICE has a place to store its tractor and mini-Zamboni, used to clear the ice.

Along with skating to music, the annual festival had chili and cocoa and skates to swap.

Amateur astronomer Mike Townsend brought two telescopes for gazing at the sun through a filter, and Scouts from Milford Troop 4 demonstrated knot tying.

The town’s new recreation director, Arene Berry, was there Saturday, Jan. 25, with her husband and their two sons. So was Nicole Banks, the former recreation director, who is moving soon to the Westwood, Mass., area where she has taken a new position as Westwood’s recreation director.

– KATHY CLEVELAND