When you plan a winter festival, you do everything possible to take advantage of all that living in the icy, cold north has to offer. You actually relish the thought of unplugging your car to motor off to an event Southerns can only dream about. Imagine putting on your long johns and visiting a family-friendly site where you can sled, skate or toboggan with your children, and then warm up in community-built-and-maintained fire pits. Later, think about ways to celebrate your forays into the freezing cold by enjoying a hot meal together in the Friday fundraising barbecue and entertainment event.
Where and how was all this supposed to take place? Why, at Grande Prairie’s initial Frost Moon Festival, of course! What happened? Well, the weather gods who normally supply sub-zero temperatures and conditions in our area must have eaten too much Christmas Fruit Cake. This year, the event planned for what is normally a snowy January week has had to be postponed until February 21-24. The reason? Rain combined with abnormally high temperatures for this time of year eliminated the snow. With snow completely gone, building ice sculptures is a tad difficult. So is skating and sledding. We wonder how the Snow Volleyball Tournament might have been affected. The latter event is a take-off on beach volleyball, with the added attraction of a glow-in-the dark ball. We are dying to see how participants and spectators might select their styles of dress: will they mix bathing suits with snow suits?
Not to worry, since our hardy community organizers never admit defeat for any reason. Instead of canceling the Frost Moon event, they had the foresight to move it into February. Maybe they rationalized that the weather gods who necessitated the change just wanted to please us by by supplying some balmy, unseasonably warm weather in January for those who prefer indoor activities. Whether January or February, Frost Moon promises plenty of activities for those inclined to stay reclined, or indoors. Grande Prairie winters will now be famous for refuting that slogan that “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too”.
Travelers fortunate enough to stay at the Grande Prairie Stanford Hotel during the Frost Moon celebration are a short distance from the event’s main Montrose Site at 9839-103 Avenue. All activities appeal to all ages and skill levels, and are free, except for the reasonably-costing family, fundraising barbecue. Further information can be obtained from the Regional Tourism Association located at 11330 106 Street, telephone 780-539-7688. Be sure to be in town for the event, and invite your friends from the South, who may otherwise never know what they are missing in our winter paradise.