Winter festival coming to Waterbury

New Haven

It’s a group called “The Spirit of Waterbury” and they are on a mission to bring people in the city together. How they will go about it may give you the chills. But, in this case, that’s a good thing.
“We’re looking to embrace the weather,” Bill DeMaida said. “We’re looking to have people come out and enjoy it.”

Bill is a member of “The Spirit of Waterbury” — a group that’s working hard to bring a winter festival to the Brass City next month. They call it the  “Winter is the Pits Firepits Fest”. It’ll be held Feb. 23 at Hamilton Park. It’ll be a day of fun winter games, fire pits, hot chocolate, burgers and hot dogs so people from all over Waterbury can come together — enjoy this time of year — and get to know one another.

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“Groups, cultures, different ways of living, and this is one of those events that can really energize and create a synergy,” Bill said.

Various businesses and community groups are donating their talent, time and service to help make the festival a success. For example, students and faculty from Post University are volunteering to run the winter games — everything from cornhole and volleyball in the snow to horseshoes.

“We’re bringing the games and the volunteers,” said Marya DiPerna of Post University. “We’re very excited to be here. We want to take part in everything that Waterbury has to offer….and we have a lot of people coming!”

A Cheshire company called Ice Matters will be there for ice carving demonstrations, as well.

The festival will be free, however, there may be a charge for food and beverages since organizers hope to raise money for several Waterbury non-profits. The Waterbury PAL will be there cooking hamburgers and hot dogs in their mobile kitchen to help raise funds for its programs that help kids.

Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary applauds the effort to bring something fun to the city in this frigid time of the year, especially when one of the goals is to bring people from different backgrounds together to celebrate the city.

“We’re so grateful to the Spirit of Waterbury,” Bill DeMaida, and all the different organizations, community partners and stakeholders who are helping to make this happen,” said Mack Demac, Chief of Staff for Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary.

The East End Community Club is hosting the festival. Organizers hope to see hundreds of people enjoying some winter time fun. They also hope the temperatures won’t be as chilly as they are today. If all goes well, they hope to turn this into an annual Waterbury winter tradition.

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