The 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey tournament, Winterfest team up

Coming Jan. 27-30,
you can watch pond hockey of all ages
by a bonfire, witness some impressive
ice carving, or
check out many
of the other happenings
in between

At the end of January, the pond at White Park turns into a hockey extravaganza. In 2023, more than 80 teams will take to the outdoor ice, eager to participate in the 12th annual 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey tournament.

It’s not an easy event to put together, with the potential for blizzards, rain or warm temperatures to mess up the ice surface. But it’s become part of a focal point of late January in Concord, closely coinciding with the Concord Winter Festival that’s put together by InTown Concord and The Hotel Concord.

“We’ve got the right recipe of attracting folks to come down and catch a few games and see what’s going on,” Chris Brown, the tournament’s chairman, said. “We want to have people go to White Park, see the action but enjoy the rest of the activities going on in the city as well.”

Alex Bienieck of Wentworth works on his ice sculpture of the Old Man on the Mountain on the State House lawn during the ice sculpture competition during the 2021 Winter Fest on Friday, January 29, 2021. 

2023 will be the first WinterFest that has shuttles, taking people to and from White Park, so they can easily enjoy both the hockey and everything downtown Concord has to offer.

“We kind of operate autonomously, but we’re very supportive of them, and they’re very supportive of us,” Jessica Martin, InTown Concord’s executive director, said of the relationship between the tournament and the winter festival.

For the first time, Martin said they’re also hoping to have food and retail vendors, as well as a beer tent, though they’re still in the planning stages.
“This is our attempt to encourage people to continue to go downtown for shopping needs, keep business booming and keep the downtown vibrant even though it is colder,” Martin said.