Downtown Winterfest to offer cool fun

With temperatures expected to rise to more winter-friendly levels this weekend, Downtown Winterfest is going to be a sizzling seasonal play-date for families this Sunday.

After some time in the deep freeze, this weekend is a welcome warm-up to the kind of subzero temperatures that call northerners out to play. It's the good kind of cold - chill enough to convey the winter spirit but playable for those who don the apparel of the season. People in Prince George know well that "we are winter," since that slogan emerged from the 2015 Canada Winter Games experience here in this city, and it carries on through the efforts of Downtown Prince George (DPG) and its many supporters and partners in this annual endeavour.

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The action gets going at 11 a.m. and lasts to 4 p.m. all inside the public playground of Canada Games Plaza, in the sunny shadow of the Civic Centre, Public Library and Two Rivers Gallery.

The place will be packed with snow zumba, snow golf, road hockey (with some of the city's top male and female youth teams), the outdoor food court, the dancing beats of DJ Ant, and much more.

"Our awesome community partners have so much going on, so make sure to mark it in your calendar and come join in the fun," said DPG's executive director Colleen Van Mook.

"If you need to warm up your toes, we invite you to wander through the wonderful Winter Market which will be hosted inside the Prince George Civic and Conference Centre. Our fabulous exhibitors and local merchants will be offering a little something for everyone's shopping pleasure. The Prince George Public Library and Two Rivers Gallery will also be offering free indoor activities throughout the day."

A favourite feature each year at Downtown Winterfest is the s'more selection. This popular sweet treat is the centre of a community contest, with businesses and agencies vying for votes with innovative recipes. The winner gets the pride and charity gets the proceeds from the There's S'more Downtown competition.

"While you are indulging in these traditional outdoor treats, you can be witness to a spectacular showcase of snow and ice carving art that will, once again, feature award-winning talent from international sculptor Peter Vogelaar," said Van Mook.

"His team will work their magic to create several stunning and interactive snow sculptures along with the very popular ice slide."

There will also be community mascots, snowman catapults thanks to The Exploration Place, a photo booth, rides on the Cetral B.C. Railway and Forestry Museum's Cottonwood Express mini-rail train, tryouts of paranordic sit-skiing with Josh Dueck of the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, snowmobile demos and display with Forest Power Sports, and much more.

Downtown Winterfest is one of the hottest spots on the annual Prince George calendar during the snowy season. It's one more way that DPG can show off the quality of life in our community and boost the action of the warm heart of the city.

"Our goal is to create a downtown Prince George that is vibrant, safe, and attractive to citizens, businesses and visitors," said Van Mook. "We do this through advocacy and partnerships that focus on events and promotions, beautification and business development initiatives."

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