7 amazing winter festivals to experience in 2022

Winter is a time of celebration in much of the United States and Canada. Winter festivals showcase some of the world’s best performers, while celebrating local culture and folklore. Here are some winter festivals worth checking out in 2022.

International Snow Sculpting Championships – Breckenridge, Colorado

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

Ice Art World Championship – Fairbanks, Alaska

In the 1930s, Alaska celebrated spring with winter carnivals. Today, that tradition continues with the internationally acclaimed 2022 World Ice Art Championships taking place from mid-February to the end of March. Over 100 artists from around the world work to create exhibits, but only a few can compete. Competitions range from single block ice art to double blocks, up to 9 blocks of ice in which 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

The Ice on Whyte festival is a 10 day festival which starts at the end of January. Stroll through the ice sculpture garden created by top Canadian artists, then learn how to do it yourself with a Chippers Ice Carving Class. There are sculpture classes for children and adults. Don’t forget to reward yourself for all that hard work at the ice bar featuring local beers and cocktails, and refuel at the on-site food truck. Tickets start at $6 and you can pick them up here.

Quebec Carnival — Quebec, Canada

The Carnaval de Québec has existed in one form or another since the late 1800s. The modern-day carnival kicks off on February 4, when the city’s mayor hands over the keys to the city to the carnival’s mascot, the Bonhomme. He’s a big snowman wearing a red cap and sash, and he only comes during the 3 weeks of carnival. This year, partygoers can scour the town for Bonhomme-owned items to win prizes. There is also a hockey tournament, a dance party, ax throwing, slides and obstacle courses. The event is free to the public.

Lititz Fire And Ice Festival—Lititz, Pennsylvania

The Lititz Fire And Ice Festival begins February 18 and lasts 10 days in the small town of Lititz, Pennsylvania, outside of Lancaster. The annual event features ice sculptures, food and drink vendors, and local merchants. The festival kicks off this year with a private launch party on February 17. Ticketed guests will be wowed by live ice carving demonstrations, entertainment, and food and drink. There are different fun themes throughout the festival, including a children’s themed day. Be sure to grab a punch card to visit all of the local restaurants and breweries for specially crafted festival cocktails. Fill in your card and vote for your favourite!

Icestravaganza—Davenport, Iowa

The animals are at the Icestravaganza Center in Davenport, Iowa. The event takes place from January 14-16 of this year and features over 30,000 pounds of ice inside LeClaire Park. You can walk through the sculptures, or to stay warm, this year you can drive through the viewing area. Most of the creations are zoo animals, including lions and tigers. There is also an ice carving demonstration, hot chocolate tent, local vendors, local beers and food available. Not all of these attractions are open all the time, so be sure to check the events 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 put on your shoelaces and skate on the famous Rideau Canal Skateway; it is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Local museums also offer special programs, but be sure to check entrance fees.

As with any outdoor winter activity, be sure to dress warmly and take breaks inside heated areas if necessary. Since the vast majority of events take place outdoors during the winter months when the weather can be harsh, it’s always best to check with the event before you go to make sure everything works always !

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