Free ice skating begins today at Bushnell Park - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Free ice skating begins today at Bushnell Park

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Ice skaters enjoy free skating in Bushnell Park on Friday. (WFSB) Ice skaters enjoy free skating in Bushnell Park on Friday. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Winterfest, which is in its 8th year, in Hartford officially opened on Black Friday for the holiday season.

Dozens flocked to Bushnell Park on Friday morning to hit the ice.

"I think it's awesome. It's free for ice skating and for the rentals," Idalee Federick, of New Britain, said. "It's a great experience for family gathering, like after Thanksgiving." 

An estimated 40,000 people show up to Bushnell Park to skate for free and an extra 40,000 come just to watch. Many weren't sure if Winterfest would open this year. 

Following five months of fundraising, the iQuilt Partnership raised $230,000 to open the rink in Bushnell Park for holiday event. That amount covers the cost to allow ice skating, skate rentals, and classes.

"The United Bank Foundation helped us get to our minimum fundraising goal of $230,000. Without their support and commitment, we would not be able to bring this amazing family activity back to the capital city," Jim Carter, who is the chair of the iQuilt Partnership's Board of Directors, said in a statement. 

The rink is open from Friday to Jan. 2. There are also other events part of Winterfest such as a holiday bazaar. 

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