The ice bar at the Grande North Winter Festival. (Catherine Ridgeway)
The Grande North Winter Festival kicks off this weekend in Grande Prairie, with family-friendly activities, and events planned from Friday to Sunday. Events and Entertainment Manager Catherine Ridgeway says they’re thrilled to be able to bring an event like this to the city.
“I’m sure after the latest deep freeze, we are all ready to get outside and enjoy the winter… the festival takes place at various locations throughout the city, with all kinds of different events and activities planned.”
Ridgeway is particularly excited about the ice carving competition at Bonnetts Energy Centre, as they’ve brought in ‘world-class’ ice carvers from the Ice on Whyte Festival.
“At Bonnetts Energy Centre, the sculpting will happen from 3 to 9 on Friday and 10 a.m to 9 p.m. on Saturday. People can vote on their favourite carvings and that’s how we will determine the winner. After that, the sculptures are here for us to enjoy until they melt.”
Ridgeway adds she’s also excited that the event is going on as scheduled, with a much more reasonable forecast expected over the three days.
“The wonder of winter here truly defines who we are as a community. That’s what Grande Prairie is all about, finding opportunities in difficult situations, and there’s a resilience to our community that we want to celebrate.”
Ridgeway says that COVID-19 precautions are in place, such as social distancing.
“We’re working really closely with Alberta Health Services to ensure that social distancing is managed, and we’re keeping the crowds dispersed. This allows us to come together, share the experience, but also do it safely.”
The weekend Grande Prairie Storm games have been rescheduled for Friday and Saturday. There will be a Storm game on Sunday, with the local team facing off against the Lloydminster Bobcats, puck drop is at 2 p.m. The ice gardens will be open at Bonnetts Energy Centre, and any Storm tickets purchased for Sunday will grant you access to the ice gardens.
The festival begins at 10 a.m. January 14th and runs until Sunday night.