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High on Ice Festival returns to Fort St. John for its 14th year this weekend

The ice slides at the 2017 High on Ice Festival. The city is asking residents to stay clear of festival preparations over the next week. Photo by Chris Newton.
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The High on Ice Winter Festival is once again taking place in Fort St. John this weekend, as the festival marks its 14th straight year.

The festival kicks off at 4:00 p.m. this Friday in Centennial Park with the Single Block carving competition. The competition is similar to the Carver’s Challenge at the Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Competition, as carvers will only have 2 hours to create a masterpiece from a single ice block.

Once again, perennial Chetwynd Carving competitor Ryan Cook will be returning to the High on Ice competition this year, along with fellow returning carver Dmitry Klimenko from Russia. The 2018 carving team also consists of Canadians Doug Linglebach and Kevin Lewis, along with Slavian Borecki from Poland.

Recreation Programmer Marissa Jordan with the City of Fort St. John said that this year organizers will be putting extra emphasis on the spectacle of the Festival’s Opening Night ceremonies. Mayor Lori Ackerman is scheduled to deliver the opening remarks at 6:30 p.m. ahead of the Fire & Glow Show at 7:00.

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Jordan explained that with the ‘carnival’ theme this year, the Opening Night activities will include Pizza & a Pint from Beard’s Brewing and Olio’s Pizza, free hot chocolate from the Canadian Grind, and live music during opening night for the first year. Kids Activities will also be available starting at 5:00 p.m. and running until 7:00.

On Saturday, the kids activities will continue throughout the day, along with continued festivities in Centennial Park, along with the Mayors Challenge and Community Carving Challenge from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Other activities include the 3rd annual dodgeball tournament at the Kids Arena Field House, horse-drawn sleigh rides at Kin Park, and a cross-country skiing event at Beatton Provincial Park. A dinner and dance that was scheduled to be held by the Peace Passage Skating Club in Taylor has been cancelled, but the Curling Club will also have a dance that is open to the public on Saturday night as part of its bonspiel.

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Also to help you keep warm, Soup stock will be put on by NEAT this year. Soup stock is a waste-free event where you can take a break to warm up with some hot soup. Bring your own mug and spoon, and for $2 per serving, you have access to a selection of delicious soups.

Jordan also stressed the importance that members of the public avoid the ice slides in Centennial Park until the slides officially open on Friday afternoon.

To view the full schedule of events and for all details regarding activity times, locations, and fees visit: http://www.fortstjohn.ca/ice.

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