The winter carnival in Quebec City, Canada is a jolly festival that begins in the end of the last weekend of January and goes for another two weeks. This amazing celebration has been an annual staple in the area for over a century. It’s goal is to raise spirits in the coldest time of the year after Christmas and before spring. If you live around the city, you can find cheap hotels in Quebec to stay the night and enjoy the Festival even more.
The winter carnival is always an exciting and bustling event with thousands of people in attendance. The celebration has opening and closing ceremonies to ring in the years excitement and then to give closure on the marathon of good times. The Bonhomme, or snowman in French, is the official mascot of the winter carnival and impossible to miss.
The fluffy white man with large black buttons and the famous red, conical hat is the symbol for all of the fun that is to be had during the events. Although deemed creepy by some, the Bonhomme is just as symbolic of the Winter Carnival as are hot chocolates, sleigh rides, good times and great memories.
One of the most central aspects to the carnival is the parades. These feature costumed people as well as mobile ice sculptures. These sculptures are a huge feature of these celebrations as well. Being a winter carnival, the featured attractions usually have to do with winter themes, ice being paramount.
Many of the streets in the vicinity of the carnival transform their store fronts into carnival themed places of fun, and some even go so far as to make compete setups with carved ice as tables, chairs, and other furniture. It’s really an event that the whole city takes part in.
Mention of the carnival cannot skip out on discussing the amusement park. The large park in the center of Quebec acts as the main stage for the carnival. The large Plains of Abraham are made into a huge winter themed park all featuring aspects of winter. Snow shoeing, dog sled rides, hockey and snowboarding are all central fixtures of the carnival. There’s no better excuse to try out that winter sport you’ve always wanted to.
There is also a snow sculpting competition that is done in the Plains of Abraham fields. Each year this magnificent display of artistry and talent has sculptors create large scale works of incredible art from snow and ice. It is hard to believe what these skilled craftsmen can do with snow including a hotel made of ice. You really need to see it with your own eyes to fully appreciate the skill involved.
The area is of course filled with vendors selling winter and carnival related items throughout the celebration. It’s hard to not want to get a souvenir, especially when the mascot of the celebrations is such an adorable snowman. there are also countless food stalls with everything from classic hot chocolate and hot dogs to more elaborate meals.
Have a competitive spirit? The carnival features many competitions other than the snow sculpting. Races as well as canine agility contests and coupled with the snowboard world cup coinciding close by creates an environment of passion and healthy competition that would get anyone excited.
If you’re in Quebec this winter, why not stop by the carnival and have some fun?