Efforts are underway to save Winterfest in Hartford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Efforts are underway to save Winterfest in Hartford

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Hartford Winterfest (WFSB) Hartford Winterfest (WFSB)

Winterfest Hartford has become a family favorite event for the holidays.

“I think it's great it gives people something to do on their free time I love it,” said Elizabeth Poitras.

“It's a wonderful thing to have ice skating. I used to love to ice skate when I was young,” said Thomas Meiklejohn.

The main attraction is free ice skating at Bushnell Park, but this year’s festival is currently on thin ice.

Organizers fundraise all year long to raise more than $200,000 to make it a free event, but this year they’re coming in short of that fundraising goal.

An estimated 40,000 people show up to Bushnell Park to skate for free, and an extra 40,000 come just to watch.

Organizer Jackie Mandyck says it’s a magical time of year people want to be a part of.

“We get people who propose on the rink to people who are just learning how to skate, to people just enjoying the Christmas music or the holiday music around the area and really just enjoying the outside fun, family free event outside in the city of Hartford,” said Mandyck, who is the managing director of the iQuilt Partnership.

For several years, there have been challenges raising money.

To have an 8th annual Winterfest this year, organizers need $55,000 more by Oct. 30.

So before spreading holiday cheer, Mandyck is hoping people will spread the word that Winterfest needs help.

“It would be a huge loss for us to lose it,” said Mandyck.

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