The 115th Rossland Winter Carnival this past was deemed a big success by organizers and the massive crowd of people that made their way through town.
Lisa Wegner, a member of the carnival committee said echoed the enthusiasm.
“There was a tremendous turn out for the parade this year,” Wegner noted. “Both sides of Columbia Street were jammed from end to end – I take that as a good sign.”
She said participants provided some real solid entertainment & humour.
“And to top it off, the weather was absolutely perfect for the fireworks display,” she said. “We could not have asked for better.”
Everywhere you went in Rossland over the weekend there was something to do, from learning to luge to watching insane ski and snowboard tricks from the downtown beer garden.
Wegner attributed the success of the weekend to the many volunteers who helped put the many events together and run them once they were ready to go.
“If it was not for the sponsors, dedication of the many volunteers, the talented and creative participants, the spectators that came out from fair distances and the organizers, this Winter Carnival would have not been this big.” she said, adding that the event could have disappeared were it not for those same people.
“Rossland almost lost this classic event years ago,” she said. “It has now returned to the pure community spirit of Rossland and the Kootenays.”
Friday was busy, with the King of the Mountain race starting off the day. Pete Golden took the king’s crown with the fastest combined time on snowboard, alpine and telemark skis. Golden was defending champion from last year.
Later on Friday, carnival goers took to Columbia Avenue to march down the street in their best Olaus Jeldness, the carnival’s founder, costume. Fire dancers blew flames and the Rossland Fire Department followed close behind.
The fire dancers gave an encore show later that night, with crowds amassing in the street. On Queen Street, the Rail Jam kicked off with fireworks and skiers and snowboarders showing off their best freestyle tricks. This followed the fireworks on Red Mountain.
On Saturday, the firefighters put on a pancake breakfast to fuel people up for the Sonny Samuelson Bobsled Races down Spokane Street. Racers got up to speeds of 71 kilometres per hour, despite slower snow conditions. There were a few dramatic crashes as well.
Friday night, skiers packed onto the T-bar at Red Mountain Resort for the family fun night, which featured night skiing.
Both Friday and Saturday included showings of Ski Bum the Musical and live music at the local establishments.
Sunday, the Olaus Invitational BC Cup Luge Race was off to a start as luggers who qualified through the learn to luge sessions on the other days competed for the fastest down the course on the side of Red Mountain.
The Rossland museum was open for hot cider and coffee and nearby the Kids Carnival had snowmobile rides and maple taffy for the younger carnival goers.
The John Heintz Race Relay from Red to the Lions Campground, where the Kids Carnival was taking place, finished the weekend off as racers skied, biked and snowshoed to the finish.
Click to see some of this weekend’s events.