Early next year, after the Christmas season, winter carnivals will start popping up out of the snow all across North America. One of the very best is the Québec Winter Carnival. Québec City is the site, and Feb. 1 – 17 are the dates.
Organizers say it all began when the folks of New France gathered just before Lent to eat, drink and be exceedingly merry. Not a bad combination. In 1894, Québec City, the planet’s self-proclaimed ‘snow capital,’ reinvented the tradition, one that was interrupted by the Great Depression and a pair of wars. Finally the celebration stuck in 1955. 2013 marks the 59th iteration in modern times.
Whatever your passion for winter, you should be able to give it full vent here. If family is your focus there’s no dearth of things to do:
– First fuel up with Beaver Tails, confections sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. The Place Desjardins is the place to get ‘em. They wash down particularly wonderfully with a cup of hot chocolate.
– More fuel for the winter? The folks from western Canada will be in town serving up a Calgary Flapjack Breakfast: pancakes, sausages and plenty of coffee. This feast is gratis.
– Innards properly warmed, chill out – more specifically see how 75 brave snowbathers take a trio of dips in the cold white stuff, clothed in but their bathing suits. Participants get to warm up between each icy plunge.
– One of carnival’s most enduring family pursuits is sledding down the Plains of Abraham, near 81 Place Desjardins. There’s a trio of snow-tubing corridors.
– Going fast and snow go together. Snow rafting is a revelation, this as you hurtle down the slopes in a 12-passenger raft. Kids are welcome. Just use a bit of parental discretion.
Depleted from all the running about. Back to Place Desjardins again where you can recharge with signature maple taffy on snow.
(Featured image is by meddygarnet