Carnaval de Québec Kicks Off Next Week

by Tuan

For 69 years, the people of Québec have embraced the cold, rather than hiding from it. And when the temperatures drop into the single digits they head to Québec City for one of the world’s largest winter carnivals, the Carnaval de Québec

This year, for their 70th anniversary, the Carnaval de Québec will be longer — at a full 18 days — and packed with new activities and events. The festival kicks off on Jan. 25 and runs through Feb. 11. On tap in the cold, snowy city are some of the events festivalgoers have come to love, almost all of which are outdoors: ice canoeing races, night parades, ice bars, and snow sculptures.

To celebrate the milestone, the carnival has added some new offerings this year. Three city hills will be closed for sledding and tubing in what is being called “slide city.” For this event, which runs the opening weekend, Jan. 25 to 28, you can literally slide down the streets of Québec and be met with free entertainment at the bottom. Another new event is the ice cross, which is a long ice skating track with obstacles for skaters to race on, will run the duration of the festival. 

Audet Photo

From Feb. 2 to 11, ice climbers — both expert and novice — can climb on a 45-foot-tall, 34-feet-wide polar bear. The bear will have ice climbing routes on its legs and a via ferrata course on its back. Also new this year is a 20-foot-high urban zip line and a laser tag game in downtown Québec City.

Beyond the lineup of old and new activities, likely designed to keep everyone warm, is an event menu that goes on and on (there is literally something to do at every hour, every day). Highlights include an ice sculpture garden where you can watch expert sculptors create their magic before your eyes (plus, an ice sculpting workshop) and a world-famous ice canoe race, where participants canoe down the icy waters of the St. Lawrence River. There’s also a night parade and community-wide snow bath, where everyone plays in the snow in their swimsuits. A silent disco and plenty of live music, including a huge grand opening event on Jan. 25 with bite-sized musical events from nearly 50 artists, create a festive atmosphere.

Audet Photo

The star of the festival is Bonhomme, Frosty the Snowman’s Canadian cousin. Bonhomme is the mascot of Carnaval de Québec and can be seen at all the major events. From Feb. 2 to 11, you can visit his multi-story ice palace and on Jan. 27 he hosts a masked ball in the ballroom of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.

In short, the 70th anniversary of the Carnaval de Québec promises to be a fun, if chilly, event. To attend, buy the $22 “Effigy” pass online here, or pick it up at participating Couche-Tard convenience stores in the Québec City region. You can also purchase it at the entrance to the carnival between Feb. 2 and 11.

From source:

You may also like

Copyright @2024 by Lakelawn Motel.