DEEP to Host 16th Annual No Child Left Inside® Winter Festival Feb. 5
Event Back in Person This Year; Fun Winter Activities Planned for Families, People of All Ages to Enjoy
(HARTFORD, CT) - Grab your winter gear, bundle up your children and join us for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)’s No Child Left Inside® 16th annual Winter Festival at Burr Pond State Park, 384 Burr Mountain Road, Torrington. A full range of fun, outdoor winter activities for the entire family will be happening on Saturday, February 5, 2022, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is a partnership between DEEP’s No Child Left Inside® and Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) programs plus the City of Torrington. Visit No Child Left Inside for details and updates.
“Heal your cabin fever with an exciting outdoor winter experience at Burr Pond State Park,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “Play winter games, enjoy a bonfire and story time, learn to ice fish, snowshoe, and more at DEEP’s annual Winter Festival. For 16 years, DEEP’s No Child Left Inside initiative has created this family-friendly festival where children and their grown-ups can spend the day in winter’s invigorating air, connecting with each other, and enjoying some good old-fashioned outdoor family fun. Wintertime is a great time to get out and enjoy Connecticut’s state parks, which are an important driver of tourism and investment in the local economy. Thanks to Passport to the Parks, those with Connecticut registered vehicles can enter all 110 CT State Parks free of charge. Passport to the Parks is easy and convenient for visitors, and is part of what makes it great to live in Connecticut.”
The Festival is free and there is no registration required, everyone is welcome to attend. Last year was a virtual event and we were able to reach record numbers via social media and Facebook live. This year we will again be back in person highlighting Connecticut’s winter season. Activities planned for the day include: ice fishing (ice dependent), “Storytime by the bonfire with award-winning CT author Janet Lawler;” snowshoeing, ice sculpting, snow play, wildlife tracks I.D., winter hikes, ice safety and rescue equipment by the Torrington Fire Department, demonstrations by Reach Your Summit, along with visits from Resources in Search and Rescue and the CT Valley Siberian Husky Club, winter games sponsored by the Torrington Park and Recreation Department, and a marshmallow roast. Boy Scout Troop 1 will also be selling food at the event (cash only).
Ice fishing equipment and instruction will be provided by DEEP’s Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) instructors. Dress for the cold weather and bring your ice spikes.
There will be on-site parking at Burr Pond State Park in Torrington and at the Burr Pond Boat Launch Ramp. There will also be off-site parking at the Burrville Fire Training School located on Burr Mountain Road in Torrington as well as at RBC Bearings Aircraft Products inc. located at 2788 Winsted Road in Torrington. There will be shuttles, including one that has accessibility for persons with disabilities, running between the event and these parking locations throughout the day during the hours of the event. Please note that the last shuttle leaves Burr Pond at 3:15 p.m.
Please note: This year, CT State Parks will adapt the Winter Festival with health and safety in mind. Participants are asked to follow DEEP’s New Normal Guidelines as everyone plays a role in keeping the community safe during this pandemic. As always, if you’re not feeling well, please stay home. Those who are not yet fully vaccinated should continue to wear a face mask outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
DEEP reminds those wishing to venture onto the ice, that SAFETY COMES FIRST. Be aware that ice thickness varies on all water bodies due to a number of environmental factors including in-lake water circulatory patterns, snow cover and the type and amounts of recent precipitation. Please check the ice carefully before venturing out and check repeatedly to make sure the ice thickness is sufficient. Please visit DEEP’s Ice safety page: www.ct.gov/deep/icesafety For the day of the Festival, ice-based activities will be held in a specified area only; this will be the only area on the pond checked for ice thickness, so please stay within the designated area on the ice.
Keeping Warm Outdoors During the Winter
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) www.healthychildren.org has some valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm on a cold winter day.
- Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Don’t forget warm boots, gloves or mittens (to keep hands warmer), and a hat. Layering is a good idea; so are moisture-wicking fabrics and clothing that’s geared to the sport.
- The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
- Set reasonable time limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Have children come inside periodically to warm up.
- The sun’s rays can still cause sunburn in the winter, especially when they reflect off snow. Make sure to cover your child’s exposed skin with sunscreen.
Established in 1913, the mission of the Connecticut State Park System is to provide natural resource-based public recreational and educational opportunities through a system of state park and forest recreation areas, environmental centers, and nature centers that provide an understanding of, access to, and enjoyment of, the state’s historic, cultural and natural resources.
The Connecticut State Park system was founded in 1914 with the purchase of land that became Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. Today, Connecticut has 110 state parks and 32 state forests attracting more than 9 million visitors each year, generating over $1 billion in revenue for the state and supporting 9,000 private sector jobs. Those driving Connecticut registered motor vehicles are provided free entrance to the parks thanks to the Passport to the Parks program. For more info on Connecticut State Parks visit: www.ct.gov/deep/stateparks