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Buffalo region's lack of snow postpones Winterfest

Little snow plus lots of rain? That means no fun.

This weekend's Winterfest at Chestnut Ridge Park has been delayed.

Opportunities for cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating at all county parks are temporarily closed.

It may be late January, but it's just not cold or snowy enough.

"We’re waiting for Mother Nature here," said Daniel Rizzo, Erie County's parks commissioner.

Winterfest, originally scheduled for this Sunday, has been postponed to Feb. 12 in hopes that more snow will be on the ground and give families a better chance to take advantage of the sledding hill, toboggan chute and snow sculpting opportunities.

After all the recent rain, a little snowfall between now and Sunday may not be enough to offset the ground-soaked conditions, Rizzo said.

Other winter recreation opportunities throughout all of the parks have been closed for the past few weeks, though Rizzo hopes the snow and freezing temperatures expected at the end of the week will whiten the landscape.

The Parks Department still maintains its ice rinks and keeps cross country ski paths clear of debris, even though they're currently unusable.

"As soon as the snow comes, we’re ready to go," Rizzo said.

As for Winterfest, regardless of whether there's sufficient snow on the ground, the event will go on as scheduled Feb. 12. If there isn't enough snow -- the toboggan chute needs a 6-inch base of snow for safety reasons -- other events like arts and crafts, marshmallow roasting and park ranger walks will still make the event worth attending, he said.

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