NEPA Articles & Stories

Wally Ice Fest

Celebrating the best of winter fun.

When Life Gives You a Lake of Ice, Play Hockey

Who says “goin’ down to the lake” is just a summer activity?

Every winter, when temperatures drop low enough to stretch a solid 10 inches of ice across Lake Wallenpaupack, preparations for the annual Wally Ice Fest begin. It’s NEPA’s biggest and most anticipated party on the ice.

Depending on the weather, for two days in late January or early February, the Lake, as locals call it, and surrounding towns and businesses get together to create a truly unique NEPA experience. Wally Ice Fest is a celebration of everything we love about our frosty northeastern winters — cold, snow, ice and of course, pond hockey. Visitors make their way to the lake from all over northeastern Pennsylvania. Some even come from out of state. Together, they enjoy watching or even playing in the hockey games. They get in a few rounds of Ice Tee Golf, a festival favorite, or they give curling a try. There are bonfires, games of skill and chance, cornhole and plenty of live music. And local, lakeside restaurants, resorts and shops are open for business all weekend long.


The Main Event



Pond hockey is a longstanding tradition on Lake Wallenpaupack.

Like stickball in the city, or sandlot baseball in the suburbs, young boys and girls in the Poconos grow up playing pond hockey. And, to be honest, they never actually grow out of it. Wally Ice Fest is host to the Annual Pocono Pond Hockey Tournament.

Every year, locals and visitors alike form amateur teams and take to the ice in head to head competition. The action is fast-paced, fun and always draws a crowd.

Trade the Golf Spikes for Ice Cleats and Swing Away!



Ice Tee Golf is a local’s favorite.

It’s been months since you dragged your clubs into the garage and bid them farewell until spring. Now, the wait is over. One of the most popular activities at Wally Ice Fest is their annual Ice Tee Golf tournament.

Try to avoid the chilly water hazards on two challenging 9-hole courses that spread out over the frozen lake. Each golfer is allowed two clubs and a putter. There will be obstacles, tree-lined fairways and tricky traps and roughs. Sign up. Get your colored ball, a map of the course, your score card and hit em’ straight.

Tee times on Saturday begin at 11 a.m., and on Sunday at 9 a.m. Every player must also pay a “Greens Fee” ($20 donation in advance, $25 the day of event).


Try Your Hand at the Sport That’s Been Taking the Olympics by Storm



Just don’t drop the stone, or we could all be in trouble.

Look out for the Wilkes-Barre based Anthracite Curling Club at the north end of the lake near The Boat House. They will be offering curling demonstrations and playing a few ends. Curious spectators are also welcome to take their best shot at sliding the stone across the ice.


Embrace the Beauty of a NEPA Winter



You might just have a great time.

Check out Wally Ice Fest from February 8-10. Enjoy local, live entertainment all weekend long. Warm up with a delicious, hot meal at nearby restaurants. Grab a cold drink at the end of the day at a friendly local bar. And, if you had just too much fun, do it all over again the next day.

Eat, stay and shop at these local amenities and make your Wally Ice Fest experience one to remember.

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