Jeff Esposito and son John, his 6-year-old hands covered by mittens, didn’t let the cool weather keep them from casting their lines into Belmont Lake.

The father and son were among the healthy-sized crowd that showed up Saturday at Belmont Lake State Park to fish and have a few laughs with family and friends.

As he looked out over the lake on the 41-degree day, Esposito, 40, of Lynbrook, wished for warmer weather. Still, he was glad he was at the 27th annual Spring Family Freshwater Fishing Festival.

“It was something to do for the kids,” Esposito said. “I wish this was done a little later on, the weather’s a little hit or miss. I guess winter doesn’t want to leave.”

Son John, flashing a toothy grin, said his favorite part of the day was “throwing the fishing poles so far.”

About 2,500 people were in the park Saturday, said Joseph Brodtman, state manager for Belmont Lake. Participants did not need licenses to fish for brown, brook and rainbow trout at the festival, which also featured fly-casting demonstrations and fish-cleaning stations.

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Robert Pokorny, 64, of West Babylon, who had previously come to the festival by himself, took his grandsons Jaden, 10, and Riley, 7, this year. “It was a fun thing to do. Beats staying indoors,” he said.

As he placed pink bait onto his hook, Pokorny said he was confident they would catch something. Despite the wind and cool temperatures, which he said made it more challenging to fish, Pokorny said he was having a great time.

“Best part of the day is that it’s a day with the family and fun for the kids,” he said.

Continuing a tradition, members of the Memorare Council 3476 Knights of Columbus in Seaford gathered around a few picnic tables, where Larry Goggin, 80, of Bethpage, cooked hot dogs, hamburgers and other barbecue goodies for festival volunteers and fellow knights.

Nick Maffetone, president of the group’s fishing club, said the knights volunteered to teach children how to fish and gave the kids prizes during the festival.

Reflecting on the best part of the day, Maffetone said, “It’s the smiles on the kids’ faces when they catch a fish.”