The 59th Annual Quebec Winter Carnival 2013 kicked off on February 1, and will continue until February 17. There’s plenty of time to still get there and have the time of your life. This is the third largest festival in the world and the world’s largest winter festival. Dress warm, come hungry and you’ll go away happy…guaranteed.
In less than 24 hours during the opening days of the show I enjoyed sledding on an fast, 120m ice-chute, snow tubing on a long snow hill, human foosball, field hockey, ice skating, cross country skiing, snowshoe races, dog sledding, ice and snow sculptures, winter hot tubs and saunas, dancing under the moonlight, horse-drawn sleighs as well as delicious food and adult beverages. While most activities are outside, there are adequate places to come in, warm up and refuel; so you never need to worry about being outside all day long.
So what’s still going on? Here’s my top ten choices for things I wouldn’t miss if I was still there:
1) Take in LUMOCITE, a spectacular lighting of the city’s most famous landmarks with 3D and SFX illumination presented by world renowned multi-media teams from L.A., Budapest, Geneva, as well as Quebec. Starting Feb 6 until Feb 9, the show goes from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. each night. Starting in 2014 this will be an international competition in Quebec.
2) Canada is known for its adult beverages, and to celebrate, BRASSEE DU CARNAVAL is where you’ll want to be to sample the best of local microbreweries. From Feb. 7 through Feb. 10, you can taste from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. in front of the Armoury.
3) Get a photo with the ambassador of Winter Carnival, the bigger-than-life BONHOMME. Saturdays and Sundays you’ll find him in the Loto-Quebec Zone from 11:30 a.m. until 12 p.m.
4) Try HUMAN FOOSBALL on an icy rink. Two teams of twelve people put on blue or red jerseys and then strap themselves to long poles that limit their movement to left and right only. Working in tandem (supposedly) they each try to advance the ball across the court and into the opponent’s goal. Come with a team or come by yourself and they will partner you up. It’s a pack of laughs you won’t forget.
5) Be amazed at the International ICE SCULPTURE competitions. Young art students as well as collegiate and local competitors had their projects completed before I left and they were expertly done. (How anyone can hollow out the inside of a giant ice sphere without cracking it, baffles my mind.) If they did such amazing work, I’m sure sorry I missed the international competitors. The international teams will be working from February 5 through February 10 if you want to see them in action.
Doug Bardwell, based in Cleveland, OH, writes about travel destinations, photography and tech topics across the country and around the world at DougBardwell.com. Feel free to drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions for future stories. To get his stories delivered to your inbox, click the RSS feed or the "Subscribe" button above or follow him on Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. To read Doug’s disclosure notice, click here. For travel ideas in Cleveland and around the world, check his Calendar of Events. To see his travel photo collection, see BardwellPhotography.com.