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Sycamore sled hill official opening scheduled for Jan. 6

December 21, 2018

SYCAMORE – Although its official open date is scheduled for next month, Sycamore Park District officials said the Northwestern Medicine Sled Hill has been effectively open for the season.

Sarah Rex, recreation and marketing supervisor for the park district, said park district officials knew all along the grass was established enough at the sled hill where sledders could take advantage of it with the first snow of the season. She said the formal dedication ceremony is planned for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 6, with the hope that patrons will be sledding on the hill on the northwest corner of the new community center property at 480 Airport Road, before then.

“We didn’t know it would be as early as November, though,” Rex said.

Rex said she didn’t have an exact number of patrons who came to the sled hill Nov. 26, when area schools were closed because Winter Storm Bruce came through the area. She said people were at the sled hill as early as 10 a.m. and kept coming to the hill into the evening.

“It was a steady stream of people all day,” Rex said.

The hill dedication is part of an overall family play day Jan. 6, which will include provided snacks near the fire pit, sled dog demonstrations at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. by the Free Spirit Siberian Rescue Sled Demo Team, and a screening of the movie “Sled Dogs” at 2:15 p.m. in the community center gymnasium. The event is free and open to the public, and it will happen with or without snow.

There is no official concession stand open at the hill yet, but families can bring their own beverages when they come by the hill to sled after snowfall, Rex said.

Dan Gibble, executive director for the Sycamore Park District, had said in September the sled hill was originally set to be open in December 2019 but an earlier opening date might’ve been in the works.

Rex said the rule of thumb for those conditions is the snowfall has to be at least about 2 inches, and the grass needs to be covered with the snow. She said maintenance workers will have signage put up if conditions still aren’t right for sledding.

Sled hill and fire pit hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., when conditions allow.

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