Wally Ice Fest Returns

PALMYRA TOWNSHIP -- After players laced up, the puck was dropped on Lake Wallenpaupack near Hawley.

Following three years without cold enough weather for Wally Ice Fest, the weekend-long festival drew lots of visitors who wanted to take advantage of the cold weather.

“It's important to support local teams and businesses and by golly, it's a part of more fun in the Poconos,” said Michael Herbert-Smith.

This year, the festival was able to go on thanks to 15 inches of ice on the lake and cold weather making it safe for hockey tournaments and lots of other winter sports.

“You have a lot of spectators here and people staying in hotels, people in restaurants, and people discovering our area. It's a great thing,” said Chris Becker.

Twenty pond hockey teams took to the ice. Before the puck dropped, they had to smooth the rink without the help of a Zamboni machine in order to score as many goals as possible and move on in the tournament.

“I am ready to come out here in the elements and hang out with my boys, have a couple beers, play a little hockey. It's great fun,” said Vincent Rodriguez.

Mike Aleksich grew up playing hockey on lakes and ponds in Canada.  Wally Ice Fest reminds him of home.

“It's a real community of hockey players and just being out here on the ice and enjoying ourselves and being in each others presence is the best part of this,” Aleksich said.

Wally Ice Fest continues all weekend, not exactly having a chilling effect on business around the lake.