Clarendon Hills park staff waits on Winter Carnival weather
Ssome Clarendon Hills boys practice ice hockey Jan. 24 on the rink at Prospect Park. | Chuck Fieldman-Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:34AM
CLARENDON HILLS — The park district staff is not hoping for a repeat of their 2012 Winter Carnival.
Instead, they and many residents are hoping temperatures are cold enough to allow for the annual outdoor winter event to actually take place.
A year ago, the Winter Carnival was canceled because temperatures in the 40s didn’t allow for snow or ice.
If the weather is cold enough, the 2013 Winter Carnival will be from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 2 at Prospect Park, 315 Chicago Ave. The park’s ice rink is scheduled to be host to a demonstration from the Ice Devils Hockey Club. If there is accumulated snowfall prior to the Winter Carnival, the building of snowmen and snow painting are on the agenda. Park district staff will provide hot chocolate and cookies.
“It’s definitely difficult to have outdoor activities during the winter when there’s no snow or ice,” said Steve Thomas, superintendent of recreation. “If we have ice and no snow we’ll have broom ball on the ice. That’s kind of like modified hockey.”
Thomas said this winter’s colder weather already has allowed for more days of ice skating at Prospect and Hosek parks than was the case in 2011-12.
“When we’re starting from scratch we need four to five days of temperatures in the 20s before we have ice that’s OK for skating,” he said. “We’ll keep an eye on the weather and forecast the week leading up to the Winter Carnival. We’re ready to go, but there’s nothing we can really do if we don’t have any snow or ice.”
Mike Collins, 16, of Clarendon Hills, took advantage Jan. 24 of the ice at Prospect Park to do some afternoon skating.
“I play hockey indoors, but I love to skate outside,” he said. “It’s really a lot of fun, but last year was terrible because there was so little ice. This year has been better, and I hope it keeps up this way.”
Thomas said the park district’s maintenance staff finds plenty to do during the winter, even without much snow or ice on the ground.
“The weather doesn’t really have much impact on that,” he said. “There’s plenty of building maintenance and work in the garage. They’re able to catch up on a lot of work when they don’t have to be outside as much during the winter.”
The park district’s next special event doesn’t depend on the weather; it’s a 6 to 7:45 p.m. March 15 Daddy-Daughter Date Night for dads and daughters, ages 4-10, at the community center, 315 Chicago Ave.
For more information about the date night, call the park district office at (630) 323-2626.