A winter tradition: Darien takes to the ice on Gorham’s Pond

DARIEN — While last week’s frigid weather may have numbed some toes, it was also the welcome sign that Gorham’s Pond was ready for ice skating.

On Sunday afternoon literally hundreds of people took to the ice—hockey players, figure skaters, kids on sleds, kids on chairs, kids on parent’s shoulders, and more.

“It’s like a park, but it’s on the water,” observed John O’Connell, 10, of Darien, who did some skating with his brother, Tommy, 13.

“I would just say it’s fun to the watch the boys,” their mom, Mary O’Connell, observed, “good, old-fashioned fun.”

Word is that the expansive pond needs three days or more where the temperature doesn’t rise above freezing in order to solidify. And given its moving connection to the nearby Long Island Sound, it’s the center that freezes first, with the very outside edges always remaining liquid.

“I didn’t know so many people were skating here,” observed Pat Devlin of Darien, who grew up in town but was still surprised by the vast number.

“It’s a great outing,” he said, introducing his kids to the ice.

“I grew up here and we spent every winter here when I was little,” explained Tripp Shriner of Darien.

“It’s been a while since it’s been like this, so it’s just amazing to be out here with the kids,” he said.

“I like how it’s outside and it’s just really big,” noted Addie Rhodes, 12, of Darien, who is usually skating indoors with her Ice Cats hockey team.

“I like to go skating with my sister,” noted Madeline Heissan, 11, of Darien. “I think it’s just right.”

“It’s just good old-fashioned fun,” observed Diana Ryan of Darien, who was out with her kids.

“I like that,” she said. “No electronics.”

Gorham’s Pond is supported by the Friends of Gorham’s Pond. Previously, the town’s organized holiday caroling at the pond. It is home to various aquatic birds and other wildlife, including swans.