The Biggest Winter Carnival in the World
Are you thinking of going to Canada’s coolest event? Great idea, because at the Quebec Winter Carnival, for more than two weeks, there’s diversion on ice to brighten up the coldest time of year.
The opening street parade is before fun-filled 10 days from February 7th to 16th, 2020, of anything and everything snow-related. From talking snowmen to snow bathing, when the carnival activities take over Old Quebec City.
Bring your family to see the parades and enjoy snow activities, but also enjoy the ice palace and the snow sculptures.
Photo by Carnaval de Québec
From Parades to Canoes – Quebec Winter Carnival
When you get to Old Quebec City, you’ll find the Winter Carnival, reputedly now the most significant winter carnival in the world, has completely taken over the streets of this historic part of Quebec. It will have spread to several park and public areas too.
There might not be the exact identical feathered and sequinned, scantily dressed Samba dancers as you’d find in Rio de Janeiro, but the atmosphere is the same and it’s absolutely electric.
Every carnival must have a parade. Quebec Winter Carnival does better than most by boasting two which are both significant events on the Carnival calendar. The Upper Town Night Parade and the Charlesbourg Night Parade are both extravagant fantasies of colour, light and music which you just can’t afford to miss.
You’ll be amazed as you watch marching bands, dance troupes, acrobats and the themed carnival floats wind their way along the thronged routes which are more than three kilometres long. Keep an eye out for that odd, unique participant who’s doing his own thing because he just can’t bear to be out of the shindig. You’ll undoubtedly smile at his antics.
Get Snowed In
When there are a few feet of snow on the ground, the last thing you’d think of doing is wearing shorts or a bikini. Shiver in sympathy as the participants of St Hubert’s Snow Bath roll around the drifts in just their swimwear. In this annual team knockout event, the winners are the ones who can suffer the cold the longest.
While you’re at the Quebec Winter Carnival, you’ll soon find out there’s a lot more you can do with snow other than roll around it.
More Than A Snowman
Snow is one of Nature’s works of art, but snow sculptors take its beauty one step further.
The Quebec Winter Carnival hosts two snow sculpture competitions of international renown. It attracts competing artists from around the world all hoping to win the prestigious first place. There’s a lot you can do with snow, but these guys can do even more.
Photo by Carnaval de Québec
Icy Effigies and Bonhomme
A major attraction at the Quebec Winter Carnival is Bonhomme’s Ice Palace. It’s a glittering construction of pure ice and home to the walking, talking snowman mascot of the carnival, Bonhomme.
The Ice Palace is the place where you can go to meet him. If you’ve booked in advance can enjoy the Odyss multimedia experience too.
Bonhomme likes to get around and join in all the fun. In fact, he pops up everywhere. You can join him for a skating session on the Place D’Youville ice rink or mingle with him and the crowds on the sidelines as you cheer on the players of an ice hockey match.
For more fun with Bonhomme, go to watch the giant Foosball game. Instead of mini-footballers, there are human players tied to the poles just waiting for their chance to kick the ball and shout goal!
At the weekends Bonhomme’s Ice Palace turns into a working art gallery. Famous Graffiti artists create and then display some fabulous examples of their street art. It’s also the venue for the prestigious moment when the carnival queen is crowned.
The Quebec Winter Carnival is a celebration of Canadian’s love of snow and ice-related winter sports. Curling, ice fishing, tobogganing plus ice skating and ice hockey are all played during the festivities. One main event not to miss is the Canoe Race.
The Canoe Race
During the Canoe Race teams of canoeists compete to cross the icy waters of the St Lawrence. The winning team is the one finishing in the shortest possible time. Though, because of the frozen conditions, there’s a lot more pushing and pulling than actual paddling which makes it highly entertaining.
For some strange and inexplicable reason, Canada loves to honour its winter weather with fun and games. It’s that predilection which gave birth to the winter carnival.
There is every kind of snow-related entertainment you could possibly imagine. From high-speed tobogganing for novices to the mad rush across the frozen waste of the St Lawrence River in the Canoe Race, the Quebec Winter Carnival is a great way to shake off those winter blues. Make sure you don’t miss it.