LINCROFT: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME WINTER?

winterfestWhen life gives you winter, make Winterfest — the second annual edition of which returns to Lincroft’s Thompson Park this Saturday afternoon (pictured is a scene from the inaugural, snow-free Fest in 2015).

Winter may have made a much-delayed appearance, all at once and with a vengeance, in a way that immediately overstayed its welcome. But to the good people of the Monmouth County Parks System, the season of bare trees and bundled-up people is something to celebrate in all its sleek and spartan beauty. So when the low winter sun comes up on Thompson Park in Lincroft this Saturday, it will look down on the newly minted ritual known as Winterfest.

Going on between the hours of 1 to 5 pm, it’s the second annual edition of the event that’s designed to “banish the winter blues,” while spotlighting the many features and assets of the county’s flagship recreational facility — and this time, they’ve remembered to bring the snow.

Among the outdoor activities scheduled to be highlighted during Saturday’s event are cross-country skiing, nature hikes (“possibly on snowshoes”), horse-drawn wagon rides and more. According to the Parks System, visitors will also have the chance to meet representatives from winter sport vendors and enjoy live music — while the presence of any residual ground-cover from Winter Storm Jonas may prompt the appearance of snowman building, snowball fights, sledding ops and other old-school diversions from the pre-virtual era.

There’s also a range of fun and games going on for kids and adults inside, including “make and take crafts” and ongoing pottery demonstrations in the park’s Creative Arts Center. Visitors can commemorate the day by creating their own ceramic snowman to take home, with the cost for each ceramic piece $10 (cash or check only).

And, as reported last week in redbankgreen, those who lack the necessary gear for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing excursions can rent equipment at the park’s Ski Hut, located next to the Three Barns Parking Area (cost is $15 to rent ski equipment; $10 for snowshoes. Admission and parking for Saturday’s Winterfest event are free of charge — and additional info is available by calling the Parks System at (732)842-4000.