Annual installment of Winter Carnival arrives in Rossland

For 117 years, the celebration of the snowy season and all that it contains has repeated itself on the landscape of the Golden City.

For many people it is the reason they have chosen to remain in Rossland, or make it their adopted home.

Winter, snow and ice have so deeply etched themselves on the psyche and physique of those people that they must abide in a place which has so much of it.

And for 117 years, the celebration of that season and all that it contains has repeated itself on the landscape of the Golden City around this time.

This weekend those who live deeply in winter and drink of its charms will share their merriment with the rest of the region—and further afield—in the latest installment of theRossland Winter Carnival.

It’s fun and frolic at sub zero temperatures, a truly Canadian display of what we are capable of when the weather gives you lemons.

Several decades of astute planning and development will be apparent when thousands of people descend on the city for the annual celebration of winter begins tonight in Rossland.

Carnival committee volunteer said the carnival began with Olaus Jeldness, the Norwegian miner who, in 1897, initiated Canada’s Oldest Winter Carnival by inviting his friends to the top of Red Mountain for a now infamous “Tea Party.”

“Afterwards, he sent his guests barreling down the hill with long wooden sticks strapped to their feet which he called “skis.” And, that is how the sport got its start in Canada,” read the Winter Carnival’s website.

For legions of Rosslanders in Jeldness’ wake, the seed of carnival planted in the late 1800s has been fostered and grown for years into one of the longest running winter carnivals in Western North America.

It has become the city’s premiere event. Winter Carnival attracts people from across the Kootenays and the U.S., as well as from around the world, for the four-day extravaganza.

And with age comes wisdom and the carnival committee knows how to deliver a top-notch event. The event kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 23 with the Nelson and District Credit Union Variety Show at Rossland School’s auditorium, featuring the school’s drama club and Richie Mann and the Golden City Fiddlers.

The weekend will once again include the popular bobsled competition on Spokane Street, King of the Mountain at Red Mountain Resort, Olaus Ice Palace, the Rail Jam and plenty of events for kids in its roster.

One of the prized prizes for the weekend will be the chance to select one pair of skis from Powderhound—of any style or brand. That chance will be won through a raffle, with tickets available at Powederhound, RossVegas, the volunteer table at Ferraro Foods and the Ice Palace during the carnival weekend.


The Rossland Winter Carnival today is a far cry from the one Olaus Jeldness started 117 years ago.

In the modern version of the event, boarders fly through the air carving graceful lines right beside the very same post office that he knew during Saturday’s fantastic Rail Jam.

Following that, watch out for some Big Air, Fireworks and Torchlights at Red Resort’s Family Fun Night.

Old traditions continue with Friday’s parade that gives participants a chance to win a seasons ski pass while listening to live music downtown at the Carnival Extravaganza.

The big Variety Show follows that with wonderful family entertainment.

Still more comes on Saturday morning with the Fireman’s Pancake breakfast and the amazing Sonny Samuelson Bobsled Race that comes screaming down Spokane Street.

Watch for the world renown Slocan Ice Sculptures while taking a Dogsled ride by the Snow Volleyball or the World Bigolfathon Championships.

— Rossland Winter Carnival website


Check out a complete listing of events, times and other essential bits of information at



Friday, 6:30 p.m.

City of Rossland‚117th Carnival Parade. Located downtown.

Friday, Saturday, 9 p.m.

Blizzard Music Festival at the Flying Steamshovel, Bend Sinister, with opener John Lee’s Hooker, Entry fee is $15.

Sunday, 1 p.m.

John Heintz Relay Race relay race from top of Red Mtn. to Lions campground. Register at Red in the conference room 10-12 a.m. Awards ceremony at Lions campground. $50/team $25 single.



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