By Anya Tikka

— The Winter Lights Festival, originally scheduled for Jan. 20-22 and postponed until this weekend in the hope ice-friendly weather would return, has been cancelled.

But one part hasn't melted with the rest: the mac 'n' cheese and chili cook-off at the Dimmick Inn, 101 East Harford St., to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Organizer Michael Carson said there might still be skating in Milford this year, at the Ann Street Park ice rink, if it gets cold enough.

But, alas, there’s no chance of an ice show now. The ice dancers have been booked for other shows across the area.

“You can’t have an ice show when it’s 40 degrees,” Carson lamented.

But looking on the bright side, the community and visitors can still gather for a jolly get-together at the cook-off, following a six-year tradition. The Winter Lights Festival itself started 10 years ago.

The cook-off winners will be announced at the Inn at about 2 p.m.

“Anyone can take part, both home cooks and restaurant chefs," Carson said.

Winners have been from both groups in recent years, he said.

Those who wish to take part prepare their culinary delights at home and transport them to the Inn, where they’re laid out on hot plates and in serving dishes. Several Milford restaurants will take part, including the Dimmick Inn.

The winners will take home a plaque. Many are happy to return every year.

Visitors can sample to their hearts content, and vote for the winners for a $5 donation.

Organizers plan to bring Winter Lights back next year.

“The whole idea is to be able to bring people together in the dead of the winter, and to bring in not only Milford, but surrounding communities," Carson said.

He said that, in the past few years, ice show cancellations haven't been unusual.

"Other organizers have also had to cancel events in the area," he said. "It’s just too warm.”

He added with a chuckle: "If anyone doesn’t believe in climate change, talk to an ice show organizer." By Anya Tikka

— The Winter Lights Festival, originally scheduled for Jan. 20-22 and postponed until this weekend in the hope ice-friendly weather would return, has been cancelled.

But one part hasn't melted with the rest: the mac 'n' cheese and chili cook-off at the Dimmick Inn, 101 East Harford St., to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Organizer Michael Carson said there might still be skating in Milford this year, at the Ann Street Park ice rink, if it gets cold enough.

But, alas, there’s no chance of an ice show now. The ice dancers have been booked for other shows across the area.

“You can’t have an ice show when it’s 40 degrees,” Carson lamented.

But looking on the bright side, the community and visitors can still gather for a jolly get-together at the cook-off, following a six-year tradition. The Winter Lights Festival itself started 10 years ago.

The cook-off winners will be announced at the Inn at about 2 p.m.

“Anyone can take part, both home cooks and restaurant chefs," Carson said.

Winners have been from both groups in recent years, he said.

Those who wish to take part prepare their culinary delights at home and transport them to the Inn, where they’re laid out on hot plates and in serving dishes. Several Milford restaurants will take part, including the Dimmick Inn.

The winners will take home a plaque. Many are happy to return every year.

Visitors can sample to their hearts content, and vote for the winners for a $5 donation.

Organizers plan to bring Winter Lights back next year.

“The whole idea is to be able to bring people together in the dead of the winter, and to bring in not only Milford, but surrounding communities," Carson said.

He said that, in the past few years, ice show cancellations haven't been unusual.

"Other organizers have also had to cancel events in the area," he said. "It’s just too warm.”

He added with a chuckle: "If anyone doesn’t believe in climate change, talk to an ice show organizer."