Allegheny RiverTrail Park officials closed out this winter’s Cabin Fever program with some fire pits and fun off Freeport Road in Aspinwall.
Dozens of families flocked to the 10-acre park Friday evening to make s’mores, watch a movie and participate in some arts and crafts.
Phil Teplitz of Aspinwall showed his daughters, Clara, 7, and Adelaide, 8, how to safely roast marshmallows at one of several small fire pits.
“I’ve been to the park a ton, but not to the Friday events,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to do something outside in January. It’s not too cold. Fires are working. It’s great.”
Clara said her favorite part of her day was making s’mores. She also loves the playground at the park.
Katie King, the park’s event and facility coordinator, said they launched the Cabin Fever program in October as a new way to get people in the park during the winter months.
“We had put the fire pits outside of the building and a bunch of people came,” King said. “It was a huge hit. We didn’t really know what the attendance was going to be like, but people seemed to really like it.
“We wanted to utilize this space that’s empty throughout the week. We thought we’d do movies and popcorn and fire pits and have people come down. This is probably the best turnout (compared to) the past events.”
Cooper-Siegel Community Library collaborated with ARP to bring arts and crafts for children Friday.
They included making snowman bookmarks using folded paper and colored pencils, and crafting snowflakes with beads and fuzzy pipe cleaners.
Cooper-Siegel youth services department head Megan Fogt said the library used the building in the park for its end of summer reading party last year, and was thrilled to be a part of ARP’s event.
“They were nice enough to invite us,” Fogt said. “When we were talking with Katie about the space one of the things we also talked about was how cool it would be to partner up on other community things that were happening.
“It’s such a nice opportunity to see lots of people in our community. We’re seeing lots of folks that we see at the library on a fairly regular basis, and we’re seeing some new folks. It’s a really nice opportunity to get out and talk to folks in the community. This is what we were hoping to see.”
Fogt said she hopes to be a part of more ARP events.
“We try to find as many community events that we can be out at as possible,” she said. “We know that it fits our mission of cultivating a community of readers and supporting life-long learning to be out in our community in addition to being at our libraries.”
Bridget Rudzki of Sharpsburg helped her daughter Lydia, 3, and her friend Calvin Thomas, 3, of O’Hara with the snowflake craft.
“It’s a family-friendly community event (and) it’s nice to get out of the house in the middle of winter,” Rudzki said.
Calvin was very excited to go see the Disney movie “Zootopia” that was playing several feet away from the craft table. Free popcorn was provided by ARP.
“We just came out to enjoy a nice evening,” said Calvin’s mother, Emily Engelhardt. “We’ve been enjoying the movie and the snowflake-making. This seems like a pretty good turnout.”
King said they had hoped to continue Cabin Fever in February, but renovations to the building caused the schedule to be cut short. It is expected to resume in October.