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Ice fest wasn’t on lake this year or even on ice

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    PAUPACK, PA (WNEP) — Wally Ice Fest wasn’t on Lake Wallenpaupack this year or even on ice.

The annual Wally Ice Fest was moved from Lake Wallenpaupack in hopes that a nearby, smaller lake would be more likely to freeze over.

Weather forced the Fest’s hockey tournament onto basketball courts at Camp Watonka; Lake Watonka’s ice melted considerably over the past week.

“We had a bought of very warm weather leading up to the event, 50 degrees, 60 degrees some days, the 30s at night,” said Michael Coppola of Wally Ice Fest. “So we just couldn’t form the ice, the ice was about four inches, it just wasn’t safe enough to have 42 teams of players plus the boards and all that weight.

Organizers say 20 teams still showed up to play on the pavement and there was plenty for spectators to do as well.

“The deck hockey has been fun and then you have all the other events that definitely took some creativity to come up with,” said Briton Porter of Paupack Township.

The Anthracite Curling Club came up with the workaround a few years ago when ice time wasn’t available with street curling.

“I created these street curling stones out of 15-inch spare tires, some plywood, and some caster wheels,” said Matthew Lyons of the club. “They emulate curling and it’s a lot of fun.”

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