Winterfest returns to Blackfalds on Feb. 17 and promises to be a fun-filled festival for the family to enjoy together.
Organizers Miranda Cooper and Sue Penner said the event has evolved somewhat but has always been a popular destination for the families around during the February long weekend.
“It’s a fun event to take your whole family to,” said Cooper.
Winterfest activities begin at noon on Feb. 17 with another sneak peek of Blackfalds’ newest facility, the Abbey Centre which is set to open March 17. Also at noon is the Blackfalds Fire Department barbeque.
This year’s Winterfest will also see the return of a favourite event, the Penguin Dip.
Penner said the fundraiser is a highlight of Winterfest but it did not take place last year. “Everybody loves to see it,” said Penner. “When we didn’t have it last year, it was the thing everyone missed the most.”
For the adventurous dippers, a pool will be built outside for them to enjoy a brief splash in the sub-zero weather before heading to a hot tub to warm up.
Cooper said the event is her favourite of the festival and she is hoping to see a few more than the current 10 dippers register before the Feb. 10 deadline.
Penner said the Dip was started as a fundraiser for particular charities. Now, dippers choose the charity of their choice to donate funds to.
Emergency crews from the fire department will be on hand at the Dip in case anything goes wrong. Cooper said the event also gives firefighters a chance to practice working in winter water environments.
Another favourite activity is the Snow Slide. Penner said this activity was added last year and proved to be very popular and so has been expanded this year. She added the slide will also be useable for some time after the festival.
Ice sculpting demonstrations, door prizes, bingo and other activities will also be part of Winterfest. Penner said that her favourite event each year is the Loonie Dig where children dig in piles of snow for tokens and exchange them for loonies.
Penner said that the Town of Blackfalds began hosting Winterfest in 2008 as a way to support Family Day. She added that the Town already had Blackfalds Days and Summerfest and a winter festival was something Blackfalds was lacking. Forecasts are known to change, but current weather reports predict that weather will be good for Winterfest, between -2C and -10C. In any case, dress appropriately for winter conditions and layer up if you plan on partaking in the event.
Winterfest is also a way to promote families spending time together outside, even in the bitter cold of winter. Penner said that while weather affects the numbers, each year the event is well attended whether it is a warm or cold winter day.
For more visit www.Blackfalds.com.