Clearwater’s Winter Fest is set to begin and will offer a range of family-friendly activities for both young and old throughout the week.
The fun begins Jan. 17 and runs until Jan. 26.
“What we’re trying to do is make it more of a community event, so it’s not all about what’s happening at the Sportsplex, but what’s happening in the community,” said District of Clearwater councillor and event coordinator Lynne Frizzle, noting in previous years the event was strictly Hockey Days.
“What are you doing to celebrate winter? That’s basically what we’re trying to get at.”
Locations holding Winter Fest activities are the North Thompson Sportsplex, Clearwater Library, Dutch Lake Community Centre, Wells Gray Outdoors Club, the Royal Canadian Legion and Clearwater Ski Hill.
On the opening day there’ll be Dungeons and Dragons role-playing tabletop game for teens and young adults at the library beginning at 3 p.m., then at 5 p.m., there’ll be Costume Family Skating with free hotdogs and hot chocolate at the rink.
Those who dress up can enter to win a skating party package.
At 7 p.m. Over 45 Drop-In Hockey is scheduled followed by Adult Drop-In Hockey at 8:30 p.m.
On Jan. 18 there’s a novice hockey tournament with Clearwater game times at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.
Also at 10 a.m. there’s a $15 downhill ski day with an open concession and free hot chocolate as well as prize draws at the ski hill. Beginning at the same time there’ll also be a Curling Club open house and social.
At 6 p.m. the Wells Gray Lively Arts Society is hosting a Coffee House, which is an evening of music and skits from local musicians and other entertainers.
On Jan. 19 the novice hockey continues with Clearwater game times at 7:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. followed by a Figure Skating Exhibition at 3:15 p.m. At 4 p.m. there’s family skating before Ladies Drop-In Hockey at 5:45 p.m., which is followed by Adult Drop-In Hockey at 7 p.m.
There will also be Mini Relay Cross Country Skiing Races at 2 p.m at the Wells Gray Outdoors Club.
On Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. you can join the Maker Club at the Clearwater Library for classic and new tabletop games.
The next day, Jan. 23, at the library there’ll be Tiny Tunes at 11 a.m. for babies, toddlers and their parents/caregivers. Join in for songs, rhymes, and fun, followed by adult Dungeons and Dragons at 6 p.m.
A giant crib tournament is also scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Legion.
On Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. there’ll be another round of Teen Dungeons and Dragons at the library followed by family skating at 5 p.m. at the Sportsplex. At 7 p.m. there is Over 45 Drop-In hockey lined up before adult drop-in hockey at 8:30 p.m.
For Jan. 25 there are a number of minor hockey games lined up beginning at 9 a.m. with a pre-novice game, then a novice game at 10 a.m.
At 1 p.m. there’s a Clearwater atom Ice Hawks game against Merritt, followed by a 4:15 p.m. game with bantams against Lillooet, finishing with a 6:15 p.m. game featuring the midget team against Penticton.
Also on Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. there’ll be a Family Literacy Day STEM and Stories event.
On Jan. 26 Winter Fest finishes off with more minor hockey games at 9:45 a.m. with the Clearwater midget Ice Hawks against Penticton, bantam Ice Hawks against Lillooet at 12:15 p.m., then atom Ice Hawks against West Kelowna at 2:15 p.m.
At 4 p.m. there’ll be Story Book Family Skating, which also launches Family Literacy Week, where people are encouraged to attend dressed as their favourite storybook or comic characters.
The theme for this year’s photo contest is “How are you celebrating winter?” and Frizzle said all one has to do is submit a photo of themselves doing a winter activity, post it to the District of Clearwater Facebook page and whoever gets the most Likes will win.
Prizes include tickets to a Kamloops Blazers game or a Buy-Low gift certificate.
“I’d just encourage everyone to get out and find something, whether it’s at the library or Legion or what have you,” said Frizzle.
“We’ve had a rough couple of months since the Canfor shutdown and I think it’s important to bring the community together to show we’re still here, we’re still functioning and viable and we just want to get out, have fun together and be positive.”