Cold weather means one thing for the second weekend of February in the Lake Wallenpaupack area: Wally Ice Fest. This year’s event will be held at a new location at Watonka Outdoor Facilities just a short drive from the shores of the big lake.
42 hockey teams from as far away as Florida and Canada have registered for the two-day event being held February 8-9, 2020. In addition to the on-ice action organized by Pocono Pond Hockey, Anthracite Curling Club will hold demonstrations and games and there is a full slate of festival events planned to include live music for Saturday and Sunday no matter the weather.
“Our Pond Hockey group has been hatching the idea of a new location for 2020 after holding a consolation event, “Wally Lite,” on a small private pond last February,” said tournament director Chris Becker. “Because smaller lakes freeze over much faster and are not subject to as many safety concerns, the reliability factor of good ice becomes a sure bet.”
Watonka Outdoor Facilities in Hawley, PA is located just a couple of miles from Lake Wallenpaupack. The majestic former campground is situated along a winding Middle Creek and shallow 10-acre lake and will serve as the idyllic place for the pond hockey tournament, curling demonstration and endless winter festivities. Recently rebranded from a camp to an outdoor facility, Watonka’s rustic heated lodge, parking facilities and location approximately two miles west of Hawley are attractive features in the search for a home for the annual festival.
Wally Ice Fest at Watonka anticipates teams comprised of six players each will be spread out over eight rinks. Historically, many players bring their families to watch the games and take advantage of the abundance of activities in the surrounding areas, benefitting local businesses and establishments.
The Chamber of the Northern Poconos’ event “Ice Tee Golf” on Lake Wallenpaupack will not be held this year due to unsafe ice conditions on the big lake.
For more information or to get involved please visit WallyIceFest.com.