Biddeford WinterFest will bring sledding and winter fun to downtown

Biddeford WinterFest will bring sledding and winter fun to downtown
WinterFest will bring a sledding hill to downtown Biddeford this weekend, as seen in this Saco Bay News file photo
Community Reports

Locals and visitors of all ages are invited to the annual Biddeford WinterFest -- a cabin-fever busting weekend of snow and fun-filled events Feb. 9-11.

For 11 years, local organizations and the City of Biddeford have partnered to host outdoor fun and special performances during a time of year when the cold weather tends to keep people indoors at home.

The idea for WinterFest started when then-Mayor Alan Casavant and long-time community volunteer John Maxson decided to build a sledding hill in the center of downtown in 2012. Eleven years later, hundreds of people put on their snow suits for the main event in City Square each February.

With unpredictable weather, the planning committee pledges that it will be a “snow or shine” event. Local contractors volunteer to deliver snow in dump trucks from various spots in town. But even if conditions change, there will be loads of family-friendly activities and entertainment in City Square on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Main Stage performances will include Nine Tigers Kung Fu, Dance House Productions, Biddeford High School’s cast of Cinderella, and the Biddeford High School choir.

 Local restaurants donate pizza to the festival and this year there will be a “Best of WinterFest” pizza contest featuring Biddeford’s new mayor, Martin Grohman, and radio personality Kelly Towle  as judges. There will be Touch-a-Truck, pony rides, and Common Roots Studio’s Art Bus providing entertainment throughout the day. The annual WinterFest Raffle will be back this year at 12:30 p.m. Walmart has donated children's bikes, and adults can win gift certificates to local businesses.


Local sponsors help make Saturday a free, family-friendly event. Larry Patoine has been part of WinterFest planning from the start.

 "We keep it free, because it's for the kids. We meet for months in advance, and I always remind the committee: this is for the kids,” said Patione.

New Life Church is on hand all day distributing hats and mittens made by church members, and they'll serve free hotdogs and hamburgers in between the pizza deliveries.

The annual Adult Sledding Party, co-sponsored by Heart of Biddeford and Blaze Brewing Co, takes place in City Square on Friday night, Feb. 9 from 6-8 p.m. to kick-off WinterFest. Purchase of a $15 ticket on Eventbrite comes with a Blaze Brewing beverage, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks. After sledding, local venues such as Lucky Pigeon Brewing Co, Champions Sports Bar, the Pint and Pawn, and the Dunn Bar are offering $1 off discounts to adults who show their sledding ticket. 

For adults who are looking for other entertainment out on the town, City Theater is a featured location for WinterFest with performances on Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are for sale on the City Theater website for Friday night's "Classic Rock Orchestra," a six piece rock band bringing you unforgettable hits. Then, Saturday night features Comedian Juston McKinney. A former Biddeford native and City Theater favorite, McKinney returns with lots of new material. He has made multiple appearances on the Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien, and specials on Comedy Central.

The West Brook skating rink on Pool Street will be open for free skating and rentals on Sunday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information and to stay updated on event details, visit