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Snowmen descend on Morinville

Annual festival celebrates winter

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 06:00 am

FAMILY EVENT – Ice fishing is a big part of the annual Snowman Festival in Morinville.
FAMILY EVENT – Ice fishing is a big part of the annual Snowman Festival in Morinville.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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Morinville Snowman Festival
Feb. 15 to 17
Morinville Cultural Centre, Sunshine Lake, Ray McDonald Sports Centre and Curling Rink
Dance tickets: Family of four $10, single adult $5, additional child $2.50, children under five years free. Tickets available at Morinville Cultural Centre

It’s time for Morinville residents to grab their hats, mitts, skates and hockey pucks, and team up for a weekend of fun at the sixth annual Snowman Festival.

Running throughout the Family Day weekend from Feb. 15 to 17, it promises to be a roller-coaster of non-stop activities for all ages.

Organized by a Town of Morinville committee headed by community development co-ordinator Allen Jacobson, the three days of free activities include a snowman building competition, tobogganing, ice fishing, ice skating, shinny hockey, curling fun-spiels, a family dance, Olympic games and movies.

With a town steeped in francophone history, that richness is brought to life as Legal’s association canadienne-francophone de l’Alberta hosts a cabane-a-sucre complete with a jolly Monsieur Bonhomme.

“This is a festival that is all about people connecting and unplugging and spending the time with yourself, your family, your community,” says Jacobson.

A new activity this year is the Curling Fun Spiel, launching the festival on Saturday at the curling rink for any member of the family.

“It is ‘come on down’ whoever wants to participate. Just show up and the equipment will be there as usual. It’s a chance for the curling club to get more exposure and for families to try out a sport they may not be familiar with,” Jacobson said.

On Saturday, the family dance at Morinville Community Cultural Centre starts at 6 p.m. and tends to be one of the more popular family activities. This year, instead of a full band, organizers are bringing in DJ Mike Palma and his top-40 tunes from across the board.

“We’re bringing in a bouncy castle for kids and there will be Olympic games for kids. We’ll dress them up with a mountain theme and have a few palm trees around,” chuckles Jacobson.

The Bob Foster Kids Fun & Fish Derby kick-starts the Sunday events with an ice tent pitched over the Fish and Game Pond. The Fish and Game Association is taking the lead on this event and will provide the fishing rods along with free hot dogs and drinks.

One of the highlights this year is a smoker demo says Tyler Edworthy, operations and program co-ordinator for the Town of Morinville.

From past experience, Edworthy encourages everyone to try his or her hand at ice fishing.

“But it’s pretty weird when you can see those dark fish swimming around a dark hole,” notes Edworthy.

There’s an additional family fun skate during the afternoon at Ray McDonald arena followed by four hours of movies at the cultural centre starting a 6 p.m. The family movie this year is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and the later movie for youth is Ender’s Game.

Adopting the Olympic theme, snowmen competitors will carve, melt, sculpt and decorate the finest snowmen in their front yards. The snowman competition judging takes place on Monday. The first place winner receives $100, second place scores $75 and $50 is awarded to third place.

Monday also comes alive with a roster of activities from hockey and face painting to cabane-a-sucre and a community lunch.

Edworthy closes by saying, “The Olympic theme is a great opportunity to bring to the community what we do best. Every community wants a healthy lifestyle and this is a great chance for families to come together.”


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