Summer isn’t the only time of year to enjoy outdoor festivals. The Family Day weekend is just around the corner, and The Town of Morinville invites everyone to grab his or her toque, parka and warm boots and step outdoors.
A winter fest can be a great time to enjoy laugh-filled snowball fights, pretty snow angels and of course those super cool tubby snowmen wearing button eyes and carrot noses.
The three-day festival takes place at various locations in the heart of Morinville. There is something for every generation, and it includes a snowman competition, pancake breakfast, hayrides, a hotdog lunch, an ice fishing derby, a 3-on-3 hockey tournament, family skating and fire pits.
For those wanting a break from the cold, a theatrical pirate play and a Disney movie offer additional entertainment at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.
“Morinville is composed of a lot of young families, so it’s important to have a lot of activities for families, especially on a designated family day,” said Kathleen Ducharme, cultural and events programmer for the town.
The Snowman Festival (Feb. 19 and 20) officially starts Sunday and anchors the entire weekend. As part of Canada 150, organizers are hosting a snowman competition until Feb. 28.
Interested participants are asked to build a themed snowman and post a photo on their Facebook profile and tag the Town of Morinville. The top three winners are in line for prizes.
“We’re running it from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28 because we were hoping to get more snow so people can build something fresh and new,” said Ducharme.
Although officially not part of the Snowman Festival, the Family Day Weekend kicks off on Saturday with the Missoula Children’s Theatre full-scale musical version of Treasure Island.
This past Monday, the theatre company’s red truck pulled into Morinville complete with two directors, a pirate set and costumes. This community theatre program auditioned an unlimited amount of students from kindergarten to Grade 12 for the 60 cast parts.
Rehearsals for this swashbuckling adventure are slated for the entire week before Treasure Island receives its regional debut on Saturday for two performances at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the cultural centre.
The Morinville Lions Club rolls out the fun carpet on Sunday morning with a pancake breakfast, hay rides, assorted games and family activities, hot chocolate and a hot dog lunch at the Industrial Park, 9802 – 90 Ave. Participants are asked to bring food donations for the town’s food bank.
A free fishing derby, The Bob Foster Family Fun Fish Day, takes place at the Morinville Fish and Game Pond from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Rods are provided.
Meanwhile, ACFA Régionale de Centralta helps sweeten the day hosting the historical francophone cabane à sucre sugar shack.
Anyone needing a warm-up can pop by the cultural centre at 3 p.m. for a free family screening of Moana.
The 2016 Polynesian Disney animated adventure is about a spirited teenager who sails on a daring mission to lift a curse on her family’s island. Doors open at 2:15 p.m. No tickets required.
“It’s about a girl and how she tries to save her family and deal with life’s adventures. She has to save something first to save her whole island.”
With temperatures expected to hover around zero degrees, organizers are expecting a big draw for a cluster of activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Heritage Lakes. The big attraction is the 3-on-3 Pond Hockey Tournament followed by snowman games, outdoor activities, crafts and prizes.
Princesses Elsa and Anna, from Frozen Enchanted Princesses, arrive to bestow a dash of majesty to the day. A selfie photo station is available for taking snaps of the magical day.
“Families can write fun messages on a chalkboard to include in the selfies. It’s a take-home moment.”
Anyone wishing to put together a hockey team (minimum three, maximum six) needs to register with Tyler at 780-939-7839. Players must provide own helmets, skates and gloves.
“It’s a free day of activities. There’s a lot going on and this is a chance to celebrate a Canadian winter and have fun doing it.”
There is limited parking at Heritage Lakes. Morinville is offering free park and ride services from Skyline Ball Diamonds to Heritage Lakes from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.