Looks Like Winterfest

By , November 27, 2011 1:52 am

While last year’s opening of the Festival of Lights was met with scathing criticism, Friday evening’s unveiling of Winterfest received a more cordial welcome.

The event — previously known as the Festival of Lights — continues for the next few months.

For those who do not feel inclined to walk around Downtown in search of refreshments, there are some available in Bushnell Park. Vito’s has set up a small booth; signage promises that the Kitchen at Billings Forge will be offering food there shortly.

A quick walk from the park will allow you to see the lights on Constitution Plaza, which were also on display last year.

The free Star Shuttle loops around Downtown. You can park for free on the street after 6pm and all day on the weekend, but read the signs first to see if there are any restrictions.

7 Responses to “Looks Like Winterfest”

  1. Jessica says:

    Even so it all looks good, it really only LOOKS good. The Ice Skating Rink bring a lot of NOISE to people who live in Bushnell On The Park and Bushnell Towers. Without wearing ear plugs we can’t live in our apartments any more.
    People who come to use the rink don’t live in downtown Hartford, but people who currently live here will move out because of noise.
    This is just terrible!

    • Moving is the only option? Could people bring concerns about noise to the City first, perhaps ask them to abide by the noise ordinance?

    • Tom says:

      I just walked past, and from the street across from those apartments both traffic and the fountain were louder than the far off kid chatter and the low frequency rumble of the generator truck. Just saying.

  2. Steve says:

    Jessica’s comment says more than she means it to. Here’s what I read:

    “I like the CITY Hartford because it’s quiet and dull. Once in a blue moon, it is not quiet and this upsets me so much I will threaten to move to a truly quiet a dull place. Perhaps Bozrah.”

    when you think about it, it’s a weird statement from one who lives in a city.

  3. Jane says:

    I’m very sorry to hear that Jessica is experiencing a negative side of Winterfest. I do not live right on the edge of the park, and I know sound does rise, but I’ll share my take as a neighbor for what it’s worth:
    First of all, the rink is only open until 9pm. I HATE having a good night’s sleep messed with, but that’s not going to happen here. 9pm is a very reasonable hour, in my opinion. It wouldn’t even occur to me to complain about noise until after 11pm, unless it were something truly unacceptable.
    I live 2 blocks from the eastern most end of the park. I can hear NOTHING until I’m within a half-block from the park, and barely anything until I’m right on top of the rink. For the most part the “noise” is little kids laughing, which I think is one of the best background noises you could ask for.

    I feel for Jessica if this making her life a little less pleasant. But I think that “This is just terrible!” seems like a vast overstatement. The police have been really responsive to noise ordinance complaints in recent years, and I hope that the city would be willing to work with residents to make sure everyone is happy. Moving out of the city because people are coming into it to enjoy a seasonal attraction seems a bit silly. This isn’t the debauchery of Carnavale in Venice.

    And let’s face it, the skating rink and carousel aren’t going to be shut down anytime soon (nor should they). So, in the meantime, I’d encourage us all to be a little less Scrooge-like and be a little more thrilled about all of the people enjoying the rink, spreading some holiday cheer and spending their money at small businesses in Hartford.

    Happy holidays everyone!

  4. RichH says:

    I just went over there to open-mindedly evaluate the noise level. Certainly, the people enjoying the rink and the sound-system belting out holiday music contribute most of the noticeable sound. Since the rink hours are 11-9, the music & crowd noise aren’t present during normal sleeping time.

    What I did pay attention to then, was the compressors, which are needed to keep the ice frozen. There’s a small structure that house the compressors set up near the north side of the rink and it does throw out a fairly constant noise; imagine the sound of a couple large fans or vacuum cleaners, and you get the idea. I believe that the compressors are run all night.

    At first approach, I wasn’t able to really notice the sound of the compressors until I was about 100 feet from them, and I wouldn’t really call them loud. They are easy to ignore when visiting the rink as it’s a white noise, and the rink music is louder. The generators that powered last year’s spotlight display were much louder.

    That said, once I was aware of the pitch of the compressors, I could pick it out from farther away. Even across Jewell Street, I could hear the pitch, but at that point, the volume was competing with things like auto traffic and even the pond fountain.

    It’s hard for me to say that it’s not noticeable to residents at the Bushnell. I would guess that with the windows open, you would be able to hear it. It is constant, and it isn’t calming like a waterfall. But I also feel that it isn’t overbearingly loud…more like a sound one would expect to hear in the middle of a city. I don’t know if there’s a solution (perhaps an acoustic barrier that could be placed around the compressors to muffle it a bit?), but given the rink’s popularity, there’s no chance it will be shut down. It’s tough for someone who happens to be a sensitive sleeper, but noises in cities are to be expected.

    I think the rink is a tremendous addition to Bushnell Park and hope to take advantage of it often this year. I hope any resident complaints will be heard and attempted to be addressed for next year’s implementation.

    • I would add: will residents have their windows open on most days during Winterfest? And if so, how are they going to repent for screwing up the planet for running their heat so high in the winter?

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