From snowshoeing and curling, to checking out the spectacular ice sculptures and enjoying some delicious Maple taffy, Barrie Winterfest has a little of something for everyone.
This year’s annual outdoor winter celebration runs Feb. 3-4 at Heritage Park, Meridian Place and other downtown locations. Activities start Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and wrap up Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. General activities planned for family members of every age include horse-drawn wagon rides, Snow Valley’s mini tube slide, mini golf and a Scouts winter cookout. There’s even an ice maze and a bonfire warming zone.
Other popular events include: ice sculptures, featuring creatures like dragons, wizards and elves; lumberjack shows, running both days at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., where you can watch as expert lumberjacks show off their speed sawing, axe throwing and chainsaw carving skills; pancake breakfast, held Saturday only at Collier Street United Church (112 Collier St.), from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., $7 for adults, $3 for children under 11 and free for preschoolers; walking tour highlighting the city’s history with Barrie’s Town Crier on Sunday at 1 p.m.; Mariposa School of Skating showcase and learn to skate with their professional coaches and program assistants on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to noon, at the city hall outdoor rink; Grey & Simcoe Foresters Regimental Museum tour, open both days; and the Polar Bear Dip, a frosty plunge in Kempenfelt Bay, at noon on Sunday, no pre-registration is required and it’s free to participate. The MacLaren Art Centre, at 37 Mulcaster St., will also be celebrating Winterfest with a contemporary art show. Suggested admission is $5. On Sunday, there’ll be film screenings at noon and story time by the fire from 1-3 p.m.
A variety of food and merchandise vendors will also be on hand throughout the weekend. Plenty of downtown parking is available within close walking distance or you can use the Winterfest Park ‘n Ride Shuttle. Park at Bayfield Mall and take a free ride to the activities. The shuttle will pick you up at Coulter St., behind Bayfield Mall at Barrie Transit stop 203, and drop you off at the downtown transit terminal, just across the street from Heritage Park. The shuttle runs Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Simcoe Street will be closed from Maple Avenue to Dunlop Street from 6 a.m. on Feb. 3 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 4.