Being out in the cold and enjoying winter is part of being Canadian.
That’s what Emily Hall said during her first to Fort William Historical Park’s 11th annual Voyageur Winter Carnival. Hall, from Belleville, Ont., attended the carnival with her friend Ashley Stokkermans. The pair went onto the frozen Kaministiquia River to have some fun curling.
Hall, who is in her second year at Lakehead University, said she’s into a lot of winter sports and along with the promise of elephant ears decided to check out the activities at the carnival.
“(Ashley and I) are in the outdoor rec program at Lakehead University and we just got out of our winter camp and we can’t get enough of the winter,” Hall said. “This is part of our national identity.”
Hundreds of families were out at the Old Fort for the weekend long event. The carnival featured a number of games and activities including snowshoeing, cannonball bowling and winter golf.
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Josepha Murphy came to the carnival with her daughter and son and other couple with their children. They were busy playing on the ice and playing a round or two of curling.
Murphy said it was her first time at the carnival and so far, she’s been enjoying the experience.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “We’ve heard so many good things about it and there was so many different things to do here so I was really excited to come. We just want to go around and explore and see the things that Thunder Bay has to offer.”
FWHP spokesman Chris Ficek said the three-day event, which started on Saturday, has many opportunities for the whole family. Some of the new activities included the large skating rink and the curling both out on the frozen river.
Ficek said their team was working hard for a solid month in order to smooth out the ice enough for skaters to glide on.
“It’s very important here in Thunder Bay to celebrate the winter and our Northern heritage,” he said. “A lot of the activities taking place here at the fort are traditional activities that are carried on from 200 years ago. We’ve modernized them and made them fun for the entire family.”
The carnival is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily throughout the Family Day weekend. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, students and youth ages six to 12 and children under five are free.
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