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Conditions are good for Milford's Winter Festival

MILFORD - Baby, it's cold outside, and that's just what the Milford Recreation Department has been hoping for as they plan for their third annual Winter Festival at Shepard Park.

Today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., folks will be skating, sipping cocoa and warming up by the bonfire to celebrate winter in New Hampshire.

Recreation Director Nicole Banks said that the annual event has grown exponentially each year, starting with around 150 people the first year to more than 300 attendees the second, and this year she won't be surprised to see 400 or more people turn out for the event.

"Thanks to the weather finally behaving like its winter again, we were able to get a good amount of snow in the field and the ice rink is finally frozen," said Banks.

And the focus of volunteers has been on getting the rink smooth for skating.

"We removed the snow that fell earlier this week and have a great 6-inch foundation of ice," she said. "The top layer was a bit soft, but thanks to overnight temperatures last night it's solid and will be ready to go for Saturday." Gathering around a warm fire will help keep the chills at bay, Banks said.

"The fire pits are always popular for warming up and gathering to talk to friends and family," she said. "This year we are selling s'mores kits and marshmallows for roasting. We also have other warm 'mitten-friendly' foods for sale like chili, popcorn, hot dogs and the soon to be famous grilled pumpkin donut."

There will also be a skate swap at the park, as well as music provided by a DJ. The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit