FAIRFIELD, Conn. — With temperatures climbing into the balmy 60s, it wasn’t quite the winter wonderland scene organizers might have envisioned.
But hundreds of families, teens and kids had a ball taking to the synthetic ice at the first-ever Skating on Sherman Green event in Fairfield on Friday afternoon, raising money for two children’s charities.
“It’s really fun,” said Jack O’Connor, 12, of Fairfield. “It’s a little harder than ice, but it’s really fun.”
O’Connor joined his friend Gabe Garcia, who zipped around the 40-foot by 80-foot rink in a T-shirt and shorts.
“It’s waaay weird,” the 12-year-old said of the rink that stretched from the Post Road to the gazebo. “It’s very slippery.”
There are still tickets available for half-hour stints on the rink, which will open at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets may be purchased at the rink or at Saugatuck Sweets in Fairfield or Westport.
Saugatuck Sweets owner Al DiGuido organized the event as a fundraiser for Al’s Angels, a charity that provides meals and toys for families in need at holidays, and Liv Free, a nonprofit that supports children with cancer and rare blood diseases by providing family fun events such as theater and sports tickets.
DiGuido said the event boasted 50 sponsors and about 300 to 400 tickets had already been sold.
“And 100 percent of those dollars go to children in desperate need,” he told the crowd before officially opening the rink with First Selectman Mike Tetreau.
DiGuido hopes to raise about $40,000 over the weekend, one $10 ticket at a time. Skate rental is included in the fee.
DiGuido said he got the idea for the skating weekend when he saw a beautifully lit ice sculpture on the green during a holiday event.
In addition to skating, families can enjoy popcorn and hot chocolate, music and costumed characters, such as SpongeBob Squarepants.