Winter carnival blows into Rossland

This weekend’s Rossland Winter Carnival is literally bursting with events, parades, food and drink, and a plethora of entertainment and cultural attractions.

This weekend’s Rossland Winter Carnival is literally bursting with events, parades, food and drink, and a plethora of entertainment and cultural attractions.

The streets of the Golden City will bustle as the 114th winter festival coincides with the Blizzard Music Festival and the B.C. Pond Hockey Championships.

“It’s looking crazy,” said Deanne Stevens of Tourism Rossland. “We’ve had so much interest this year probably because we got national TV coverage last year (with Rick Mercer visiting) and also just the events are so strong and so much fun for people and everyone wants to find out how to get involved.”

The event’s success depends on the efforts of volunteers and this year, “Doctors With Warm Hearts” have donated a specially-made fleece hat for all volunteers, says Stevens.

Early highlights Friday include the parade, variety show at Rossland Secondary and an open night jam at the Legion.

Part of the attraction of the carnival is its variety and this year, the myriad of outdoor games will be complemented by such cultural events as the “Ski Bum Musical,” Thursday evening, a book launch Friday at Café Books, and the 22nd annual Rotary Wine Festival on Saturday night.

Not to mention Friday’s King of the Mountain competition, where entrants ski, telemark and snowboard in a race to the finish.

Red Mountain will also be hosting the Bigolfathon, a race combining skiing and golf, and a family fun night Saturday with free night skiing and tobogganing, a bonfire and marshmallow roast, topped off with the popular torchlight parade at 8:45 p.m.

Additionally, the hill offers luge lessons on Friday and Saturday to prepare for Sunday’s Olaus Invitational B.C. Cup Luge Race.

The carnival has organized a bundle of children’s activities with a “post-parade extravaganza” on Friday, and a children’s art exhibit at Rouge Gallery, a magic show with Wizard Kim at the library and GT racing on Spokane Street on Saturday. Sunday, kids can enjoy snowmobile rides, snowshoeing, games and more at the Kids Carnival.

Stevens is also looking forward to a great turnout at the always-exciting Sonny Samuelson Bobsled Race on Saturday and especially at “The Game” Rail Jam where boarders and skiers test skills, creativity and guts on the rails in front of Kootenay Savings, Friday evening and Saturday.

“It’s going to pretty exciting; you can have a beer in the beer garden with live music, the rail jam going on, it’s all happening right at that corner there (Queen and Columbia),” she added.

Pre-registration for rail jam is Friday from 6:30-9 p.m. and boarders can try out the rails before competition on Saturday.

According to Ross Vegas’s Justin Cure, the event should be intense with a handful of pro teams expected to show. Helmets and waivers are mandatory.

Sunday the carnival wraps up with the John Heintz Relay Race. Five-person teams begin at Red where they hurtle downhill, then bike, cross-country ski, snowshoe and finally sprint to the finish at the Lions campground.

For a complete list of times and activities, visit www.rosslandwintercarnival.com