7 amazing winter festivals to experience in 2022

7 amazing winter festivals to experience in 2022

Winter is a time of celebration in large parts of the United States and Canada. Winter festivals showcase some of the world’s best artists, while also honoring local culture and folklore. Here are a few winter festivals worth checking out in 2022.

International Snow Sculpture Championships – Breckenridge, Colorado

Artists from around the world flock to the highlands of Colorado for the International Snow Sculpture Championships. For 5 days from January 24, competitors will create art from 12-foot, 20-ton snow blocks. Teams must not use power tools to make their creations, only hand tools! The public is allowed to see the carving for free, and once the sculptures are finished, they remain on display to the public for about a week. Visitors can vote for their favorite, and be sure to catch the sculptures at night during the magnificent light exhibition.

World Ice Art Championship – Fairbanks, Alaska

In the 1930s, Alaska celebrated spring by hosting winter carnivals. Today, this tradition remains with the internationally renowned 2022 World Ice Art Championship, which runs from mid-February to late March. More than 100 artists from around the globe are working to create exhibits, but only a handful are going to compete. Competitions range from single-block ice art to double-blocks, all the way up to 9 ice-blocks, where teams of four have 5 days to create a winning masterpiece. Tickets start at $ 17, but a senior discount brings them down to $ 12. You can buy them here.

Ice On Whyte Festival – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ice on Whyte Festival is a 10-day festival starting in late January. Walk through the ice sculpture garden created by top Canadian artists, then learn how to do it yourself by taking a Chippers ice carving course. There are carving lessons for both children and adults. Do not forget to reward yourself for all the hard work of the Ice Bar, which offers local beers and cocktails, and refuel at the on-site food truck. Tickets start at $ 6 and you can grab them here.

Quebec Winter Carnival – Quebec, Canada

The Quebec Winter Carnival has existed in one form or another since the late 1800s. The modern carnival starts on February 4, when the city’s mayor hands over the keys to the city to the carnival’s mascot – Bonhomme. He’s a big snowman wearing a red headdress and belt, and he only gets around during the 3 weeks of the carnival. This year, partygoers can search the city for items belonging to Bonhomme to win prizes. There is also a hockey tournament, dance party, ax throws, slides and obstacle courses. The event is free to the public.

Lititz Fire And Ice Festival – Lititz, Pennsylvania

The Lititz Fire And Ice Festival kicks off on February 18 and runs for 10 days in the small town of Lititz, Pennsylvania, outside of Lancaster. The annual event features ice cream cones, food and beverage vendors as well as local grocers. The festival starts this year with a private launch party on 17 February. Ticket guests will dazzle in live demonstrations of ice sculpture, entertainment as well as food and beverages. There are various fun themes throughout the festival, including a day with a children’s theme. Be sure to grab a punch card to visit all the local restaurants and breweries for custom-made festival cocktails. Fill out your card and vote for your favorite!

Icestravaganza – Davenport, Iowa

Animals are in focus at Icestravaganza in Davenport, Iowa. The event takes place from January 14 to 16 this year and features more than 30,000 pounds of ice cream exhibits inside LeClaire Park. You can walk through the sculptures, or to stay warm, this year you can drive through the view area. Most of the creations are of zoo animals, including lions and tigers. There is also a demonstration of ice cream, hot chocolate tent, local vendors and local beer and food available. Not all of these attractions are open all the time, so be sure to check the event calendar before you go.

Winterlude – Ottawa, Canada

Canadian culture comes alive during the first 3 weekends of February during Ottawa’s Winterlude. The free festival includes a large snow playground called Snow Kingdom and features ice sculptures. You can also lace up and ride on the famous Rideau Canal Skateway; it is named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Local museums also have special programs, but be sure to check the entrance fee.

As with any outdoor winter activity, be sure to dress warmly and take breaks in heated areas when needed. Since the vast majority of events take place outside during the winter months, when the weather can be harsh, it is always best to check in with the event before you go to make sure everything is still running!

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