LAKE WALLENPAUPACK, Pa. -- Mother Nature's mild manners are affecting a festival in Wayne County. Even though there's ice on Lake Wallenpaupack, it's just not enough for a winter sporting event.
Organizers of Wally Ice Fest hoped this would be the year to get the event back in full swing.
"This year, it's just not safe enough for people to be out on Lake Wallenpaupack. You need a good ten inches or so to have that many people on Lake Wallenpaupack doing ice tee golf or ice hockey or even ice fishing. I mean, you really want to be safe out there," said James Hamill, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.
There hasn't been much luck for the Ice Tee Golf Tournament. 2014 was the last time players teed off on the ice when the temperatures were bitter cold, and Lake Wallenpaupack was able to host both the golf tournament and the Pocono Pond Hockey tournament.
"The hope is for future years that we can find ways to maybe be a little bit more agile like Chris and the Pocono Pond Hockey guys have by finding another location that can support as many people as possible and be safe at the same time," Hamill said.
Hockey has had some better luck dropping the puck over the years on Lake Wallenpaupack, including back in 2018. But the luck ran out in 2019, and the hockey tournament moved to the pond at Camp Watonka.
"We had to move off the lake for obvious reasons just to get that reliability factor," said Chris Becker, Pocono Pond Hockey tournament director. "Last year, the pond hockey tournament had to scramble to find another location. This year, Camp Watonka seemed like the perfect place because the ice gave for a faster freeze."
Just ten minutes away from Lake Wallenpaupack, the facilities at Camp Watonka will be open for guests to warm up from a game of hockey or any of the other outdoor events planned on February 8.