Baby, it's cold outside – but don't let that stop you from having fabulous wintertime fun! Edmonton, Alberta is hosting the 22nd annual Silver Skate Festival at Hawrelak Park, February 17-20. This annual fun-for-all-ages celebration of winter offers outdoor recreation and entertainment, and there is no fee to come and enjoy yourself! The festival is a fundraiser for the Children's Ability Fund which provides equipment to help disabled children have the opportunity to get about and participate in activities the rest of us take for granted. What a great incentive for you to bring the whole family to this active outdoor exposition of sports, arts and culture!
Bundle up in your warmest layers, snuggle your kids in their cutest snowsuits and head to Edmonton's favorite community Park, with festivities beginning at 9 am daily. The schedule of events is quite extensive – there is truly something for everyone! Sporting events include Sprint Races, 25 km Long Blade Skate Races, the popular Edmonton Winter Triathlon along with public skating. Visitors are entertained by clowns and other roving performers, horse drawn sleigh rides, figure skating demonstrations and the popular Snow and Fire Sculpture Competitions. Plan to stay into the evening, when Heritage Village performances will feature music, dance and other live entertainment. A 16x22 ft snow screen promises a multi-media presentation extraordinaire. This year's fest expands to Monday, Family Day, and promoters expect overall attendance will approach 40,000!
All sorts of participatory activities are scheduled at this river valley playground, such as cross country skiing, snow shoeing, sledge hockey, a cool ice slide and family snow sculpting. The Triathlon is a challenging 10-10-5 km skate-ski-run, perfect to test your athleticism. A number of skating competitions are offered with categories ranging from novice to the most competitive. Information regarding entry is found at the Silver Skate Festival website. Don't miss the Kortebaan, the traditional Dutch speed skating event – it's fun for everyone!
The Silver Skate Sculpture Garden has become the site of an international Snow Sculpture contest – you will be dazzled at what these talented artists can create from 8'x4'x4' blocks of snow! The Fire Sculpture competition is even more amazing, with artists building combustible creations culminating in them being set ablaze at night – it's a once-in-a-lifetime sight!
Yeah, it's cold – but how in the heck are you going to have a Winter Festival without low temps? There's so much to do at the Silver Skate Festival that you are guaranteed to warm up in a hurry. And speaking of things to do, why not spend a few days exploring the attractions Edmonton offers? This capital city boasts a North Saskatchewan River setting, offering activities such as touring the beaux-arts style Alberta Legislative Building's 46 acres of manicured gardens, shopping and dining in historic Old Strathcona and attending University of Alberta cultural and sporting events. The West Edmonton Mall attracts 30 million visitors a year – you have to shop it to believe it! Sports aficianados will enjoy the NHL Edmonton Oilers' exciting hockey matches at Rexall Place. Outdoor wonderlands Banff National Park and Jasper National Park are both within driving distance as well.
Edmonton is a great place to visit, so why not take the opportunity to enjoy a local festival to rub elbows with some great people? The annual Silver Skate Festival gives you just the excuse to do so!
With any major event or attraction, creating great travel plans can make or break your experience. For the Silver Skate Festival, making your travel plans as far in advance as possible is helpful. An option is to book an Edmonton, AB hotel and air package deal. If you are bringing the whole family, never fear as we offer all the Edmonton AB discount hotels at the lowest prices. If you are budget-minded, check out our Edmonton AB Last-Minute Weekend Deals for unbelievably low prices.