If you were among those waiting in long lines for a ride in the popular horse-drawn sleigh rides at last year’s Winter Carnival you will be happy to know there will be at least two teams making the circuit this year.
Given this winter’s weather pattern it looks like there will be lots of snow in Boitanio Park for the third annual Williams Lake Winter Carnival coming up on Saturday, Jan. 28 and Sunday, Jan. 29.
Thanks to the hard work of a small steering committee and support from local businesses and the city, the carnival provides an opportunity for participants to try some winter activities free of charge.
Committee chair Darrick Boyes says they are still not sure if there will be a mini petting zoo or First Nations activities in a teepee as they had last year but otherwise all of the other activities are a go.
The carnival runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
Caribou Ski Source for Sports is providing cross country skis and snowshoes for people to try those sports.
“And if we keep the kind of snow we have now there will be an awesome sledding run,” Boyes says.
Last year there was one team and wagon providing horse drawn sleigh rides. Given the popularity and long lineups for this event last year, he says they have confirmed there will be two teams and sleighs at the event this year, and possibly three.
Jesaja Class will deliver his engaging magic show at 1:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. A tent will be set up for the entertainment events which will also include karaoke, and a kiddie corral playpen.
Carver King Dean Ross will be returning for demonstrations, there will be a snowman art contest and other activities for children.
Public skating, with free skate rental will take place both Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Cariboo Memorial Complex.
The chilli cook-off will be back with the amateur home-cooked chilli contest taking place on Saturday and the professional restaurant cook-off taking place on Sunday. So far he says there are three entries for each event.
“I expect we will have at least six entries in each event,” Boyes says.
He says Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and Mayor Walt Cobb will be among the chilli contest judges and will also be cutting the ribbon to open the carnival at 10:15 a.m. on the Saturday.
“There will be bonfires to keep people warm,” Boyes says.
There will be free maple sugar candy made on site. Food vendors will also be on site. Food is the only cost for visitors attending the carnival.
“We have four food vendors confirmed so far and room for two more,” Boyes says.
The Lions Club breakfast runs from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Vendors will also be selling crepes, chilli, hot dogs and hamburgers, and pulled pork, Boyes says.
Boyes says volunteers are still needed to help with various events.
People interested in volunteering can contact him at 250-305-8119 or attend one of the committee meetings which are being held every Wednesday evening at CJ’s Southwestern Grill starting at 6:30 p.m. right up until the week of the carnival.
According to the 14-day weather forecast there will be one to three centimetres of snow falling on the Thursday before the weekend carnival.
Temperatures are predicted to remain cold at or well below zero until then to keep all of the snow we get between now and then from melting.
Last winter was unusually warm and there wasn’t a lot of snow to successfully run all of the events.