Residents of Lorain County braved the elements to enjoy a day of fun-filled activities at the Vermilion River Preserve.
The park turned into a Fire & Ice Walk from noon to 4 p.m. on January 22 at Vermilion River Reservation’s Mill Hollow and Bacon Woods, located at 51211 N Ridge Road south of Vermilion.
The sold-out event required pre-registration; tickets were $7 per person and admission was free for children under 3 years old.
“We’ve kept our conservative capacity down because of COVID,” said Vermilion River and Schoepfle Garden senior naturalist Matt Kocsis. “We wanted to make sure people would be able to socially distance, but it’s an all-outdoor event so everyone can get around and stay comfortable and safe.”
Kocsis said this event is a new take on normal winter programming.
“We’ve been hosting winter events like this for a long time, but this is a new version of our Winter Days program,” he said. “We kept a lot of favorites that people like to go out and see.”
Guests enjoyed the river valley filled with ice carving demonstrations and several fire pit stations along the way.
The Siberian Husky Club of Greater Cleveland’s sled dogs enthusiastically welcomed the youngsters and provided educational entertainment.
“We’re here to let everyone appreciate the breed and see how loving they are,” said Director of Education Paula Harding. “We also educate people about huskies about their moulting and different habits.”
Harding said other dog breeds can be used for sport.
“We teach people sledding and other sports that they can do with their dogs, you don’t have to be a Siberian to go out there and do winter sports,” he said. she declared. “We have demonstrations to show people how to hook their dogs to sleds and some of the basic commands.”
Event attendees also enjoyed Disney Frozen characters, Little Green Choo rides, DJ music, food vendors and more.
Bev Walborn, Carlisle’s senior naturalist, said they just wanted to help people enjoy nature in the cold season.
“It’s a chance for people to enjoy winter because there are tons of fun things to do,” she says. “I think people forget that nature in winter is just as attractive and beautiful as it is in summer.”
For future events, visit loraincountymetroparks.com.