High on Ice Festival just around the corner

This year, it's being held on a long weekend, adding one more day of fun for everyone involved.

This year’s Professional Ice Sculpting competition, which gathers pro carvers from around the globe annually, will once again be an international competition, welcoming teams from Canada, the United States and Russia.

An amateur and intermediate contest will also be available for those looking for their first taste of ice carving competition.

Along with the usual events associated with the winter festival, Serena Warkentine, Recreational Programmer for the City of Fort St. John, said this year’s High on Ice will also be featuring some new events.

"We added in a Family Fun Night that the Community Resource Centre does at the Community Resource Centre. The Rotary is doing a dinner, dance and auction that they're calling An Evening Under the Stars. I believe the pond hockey group is doing a social event at the Lido."

The Pond Hockey Challenge event at The Lido will include dinner and a comedy show. This event will be for participants only, however there will be shows for the public available Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Warkentine also said the Lido will be providing comedy shows throughout the long weekend, and the annual Chocolate Festival will also be taking place.

There will be lots of athletic events taking place alongside the usual High on Ice activities, including the return of the outdoor baseball tournament, called the Over the Line tournament, as well as a Ladies Bonspiel taking place at the Fort St. John Curling Club.

She says that any women interested in throwing some stones in the local bonspiel, are encouraged to contact the curling club at 250-785-2037 to sign up.

Warketine also explains the reason the annual festival had a change in date this year.

"We’re crossing our fingers for good weather. That was one of the major reasons for changing the date of the High on Ice Festival. The last two years we’ve had close to minus 30 and minus 40 the year before, so it was really hard on our carvers and people just coming out to see the events. We are really hoping that changing the date will make it so that it’s not so cold, and putting it on the Family Day long weekend, we're hoping to encourage people regionally to come for the weekend, and see what we do here."

She says festival organizers upped their efforts to advertise within the region, and local hotels are offering a variety of discount packages for people visiting during the festival.

Deadlines for the various festival events are approaching quickly, so organizers are asking that anyone interested in participating to sign up sooner rather than later.

For a look at all the events taking place throughout the long weekend, and how to register, visit the High on Ice Festival’s official information page.