Sunday, Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Outdoor Rink, Morinville Fish and Game Pond, and Morinville Community Cultural Centre
For Morinville families, the Snowman Festival running Sunday, Feb. 16 is an opportunity for all ages to enjoy the Family Day holiday.
But this year, it is minus its namesake: the snowman competition.
“It was quite cold last year and we had to cancel it. This year, we didn’t know what the weather would be like,” said Kathleen Ducharme, event and cultural programmer.
The winter has also been cut down from the traditional two days to one.
“Different activities were spread across the two days. It was spread too thin. We have many of the same activities, but with one day it feels more like a fuller festival,” Ducharme explained.
This year, a series of free indoor and outdoor activities offer families the opportunity to unplug electronics and spend quality time with the special people around us.
Kicking off the festival at 10 a.m. is the 3-on-3 Outdoor Hockey Tournament. The ice’s top guns form three-person competitive and non-competitive teams. There are no goalies, and players shoot at mini low-level outdoor nets. The event takes place at the Outdoor Rink, 9908-104 St. Team fee is $5.
While the hockey tourney blasts across the ice, crowds watching the games can indulge in frozen maple sugar treats courtesy of The Association canadienne-francaise de l’Alberta.
“They bring in ice and pour warm syrup over the ice. Guests get a Popsicle stick and twist the taffy once the temperature change happens. And then they eat it,” said Ducharme, estimating 200 people sampled the rolled-up candy last year.
The Morinville Fish and Game Association is once more casting a net at the Morinville Fish and Game Pond for the annual Bob Foster Kids Fun Fishing Day. Licences are not required during the Family Day holiday. Extra fishing rods and supplies will be available as loaners during the 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. event.
Anyone shy of cold weather can drop by the Morinville Community Cultural Centre from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to decorate a free porcelain mug. Paints and mugs will be supplied.
“You can design anything you want and we let it dry while the movie is on and then you can take it home.”
The movie Ducharme mentions is the blockbuster Frozen II starting at 6 p.m. in the cultural centre.
“It’s a great movie with a large following. The community is really excited about it and we know it will be well attended. The Morinville Library is running a concession and all proceeds will go to the library. It’s a win-win.”
For Ducharme, the festival is a fun respite that banishes winter blahs.
“Some people don’t go out very much in winter. The festival gives you the cultural experience of the sugar shack. You get to see people you know and we offer special experiences for them.”