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‘Frost Fest’: Penticton to host winter carnival during All-Star Weekend

‘It’s time we brought the community together for a free outdoor winter carnival’: Mayor
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Former Penticton Vees forward Josh Nadeau at the BCHL All-Star Weekend in 2023, held at Penticton’s outdoor rink next to city hall. A winter festival will be held during the event in 2024. (Logan Lockhart/ Western News)

Summertime is long gone but the “City of Festivals” will soon live up to its name in the winter.

Frost Fest Winter Carnival, a new Penticton event developed in conjunction with BCHL All-Star Weekend, is set for its inaugural edition on Jan. 20, 2024.

The carnival will feature a rail jam ski and snowboard competition, kids’ activities, sled hill, food trucks and beverage garden, all while the BCHL brings its brightest stars to Penticton’s outdoor rink next to city hall.

“Penticton may be known for its beaches, lakes and summer activities, but more and more people are moving here because they’re realizing that the fun doesn’t end when the weather cools off,” said Penticton Mayor Julius Bloomfield.

“It’s time we brought the community together for a free outdoor winter carnival to celebrate our vibrancy and all the ways we can enjoy the outdoors in the snow and on the ice this season.”

Penticton was once referred to as the “City of Festivals” by retired councillor Judy Sentes, who served with Bloomfield last term.

Building off the nickname, January’s event will feature festival-like activities that the whole family can enjoy and will be set up throughout Gyro Park. A snow-sledding hill will also be set up off the park bandshell.

The city says it has worked with the BCHL, Apex Mountain Ski Resort, Apex Freestyle Club, Freeride Boardshop and the organizers of HaHaHa Kidzfest to make the all-ages event a reality.

Top skiers and snowboarders are also set to “throwdown” their best tricks during the Downtown Throwdown Rail Jam event, which will play out on a 17-feet high, 100 feet-long man-made snow structure.

More details on the family-friendly stations in Gyro Park will be announced in the coming weeks, the city said.

In September, council approved an investment of $50,000 to keep the BCHL All-Star Weekend local for the second year in a row.

The event — which will now be aided by the winter festival — had an economic impact of $287,000 in January 2023, according to the city.

“Penticton has a long history of hosting incredible outdoor events, and yet, most of them take place during the peak summer months. Here’s our opportunity to give residents a reason to get outdoors and have some fun right here in downtown Penticton this winter,” said Jeff Plant, the city’s sport and event supervisor.

READ MORE: Penticton invests $50k to keep BCHL all-star weekend in city for 2024