By Alan Gionet

EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4)– When we get deep into winter, you may be longing for some warm day, but right now Colorado needs a good cold snap.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s Mother Nature. You can’t make something happen that doesn’t,” said Peter Lindquist, board member with the Evergreen Park and Rec District.

The Evergreen Park and Rec District plays host to two big events around the New Year. Both require ice.

“We like as much as we can get,” said Evergreen Park and Rec District operations manager Hart Cameron.

The district targets opening Evergreen Lake for skating every year on Dec. 15. But not this year. There’s only four inches of ice so far and they don’t open until there’s twice that amount.

“We are doing some watering and whatnot out here to at least kind of create a surface. But you know most ice freezes from the bottom.”

(credit: CBS)

It means the traditional “Skate the Lake” event on New Year’s Eve may end up on dry ground.

“We’re not sure that the lake will be ready for it,” said organizer Pam Lindquist.

But it will still be on, “Ice or not, absolutely.”

In recent years fireworks have become a concern at the Lake on New Year’s because of fire danger. This year, they will have a laser light show early in the evening at 7. The event has always served as an alternative for people from throughout the metro area.

“Just to have people that have activities here without drinking alcohol and being on the roads late into the night,” said Pam Lindquist.

It’s not the only event waylaid by the lack of ice. The New Year’s Day Plunge that draws people from all over to take an icy jump into the water at noon on New Year’s Day, is looking at water that may be too warm at the site of the last plunge outside the Buchanan Rec Center.

“They want to have a good time on New Year’s Day. And do something whacky and weird in Evergreen, but we need that ice,” said Dr. John DuRussel, President of Active 4 All Foundation that runs the plunge.

(credit: CBS)

The ponds outside the Buchanan Rec Center are yet to ice over.

“We’re thinking about Plan B,” said DuRussel.

That may well mean a return to Evergreen Lake as the site. But the organization has faced challenges before and still has persevered. Money goes to programs like the INSPIRE special needs program at Evergreen Pak and Rec and the district could sure use a boost. In a year where COVID made things tough, it’s ideal to be in the outdoors said Peter Lindquist.

“The beauty here is, this is outside, so outside is good.”

Alan Gionet