By Anna Smith
Alberta Newspaper Group
There’s plenty of snow on the ground in Elkwater, and with it brings the opportunity for a day of midwinter excitement at this year’s Winter Festival.
Volunteers at the Elkwater Community Association are excited to be back to the time-honoured event, said volunteer Valerie Pearson, who is serving as chair for the Festival’s organization.
“The winter festival started, years and years ago, in the Elkwater area. It’s just kind of been a tradition that’s been carried on. And then, as you know, in 2020, it was the last one and it just stopped,” said Pearson. “So this year, they were chatting about it at the Elkwater Community Association. As something we wanted to start up again.”
Pearson added that part of her decision to serve as the chair was in part due to her kids, who have largely missed out on these experiences due to the pandemic.
With the date of the festival, February 4th, fast approaching, coordinating everyone involved in the various available activities has been going rather well.
“Working with the Community Association, and the local community members and businesses in Elkwater has been great. Our whole goal is to get everyone to work together as a community, the cabin owners, the park, the businesses, so that we can all create memories for our families, new traditions for our children that can carry on for years to years to come,” said Pearson.
While there’s been some challenges in having to “start over” due to the lapse in regards to different contacts, Pearson is confident that everything is coming together for a day worth remembering.
“So this Saturday will begin at 10 o’clock, with the trade show that is at the airport or community hall. The tradeshow will have vendor tables, both new and old, there will be a facepainter there she is going to be charging a small fee for face painting, there will be a concession,” said Pearson, who added that local restaurants will also be offering specials for the day. “At the community hall we also put together a guest book. There will be cookie decorating at the 12-34 Cafe, they’re doing a play center, free snowshoe rentals all day, free cross country skis.”
Another idea they had is that people are often afraid to try something new, said Pearson, who hopes that this is an opportunity to allow people to experience something they haven’t tried and try snowshoeing, try cross country skiing, just enjoy sledding, no matter what their age, and just enjoy coming together as a community of southern Alberta.
“In the end, I think it’s going to be a great day just to have fun outside and be in nature,” said Pearson.