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A snow sculpture in Snowflake Village, Gatineau Park. Photo: Judy Andrus Toporcer, Pierrepont NY.
A snow sculpture in Snowflake Village, Gatineau Park. Photo: Judy Andrus Toporcer, Pierrepont NY.

Winterlude 2012's final weekend: soggy fun?

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Organizers of Ottawa's big three-week winter festival have learned from long experience there's just no counting on the weather. Take this year: a mild opening weekend. Then a chilly one. And now, a bit of a melt-down.

The Rideau Canal was closed on Thursday as temperatures reached the upper 30s, with another mild forecast on tap for today.

Winterlude's final weekend includes a provincial holiday "Family Day" on Monday, giving residents and visitors three full days to take in a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities. Lucy Martin has more.

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For anyone tired of winter, the steady trickle of snow melting is a happy sight and sound.

But those spreading puddles are less happy for Winterlude's ice sculptures, snow slides and outdoor skaters, all facing a soggy outlook right now.

Janice lives in Ottawa's west end. She says thaw or no thaw, Winterlude has enough variety to stay fun.

“It always is, even if it's mild. I know the ice sculptures are probably melting, but...”

Lucy Martin: “The canal is closed, does it matter?”

Janice hadn't heard. “It is closed? Yeah, I was worried about that.”

“Do you think it matters if you can't skate, is there still things to do?”

“Still lots and lots to do, yeah!”

Highlights this final weekend include: ice carving demonstrations from the pros, and an ice carving contest for regular folks, free music and theater events, “cool science” and Inuit doll making at various museums, an Ottawa fashion week, a winter beer and ice wine tasting, and the largest cross-country ski event in Canada, at the Gatineau Loppet.

All reasons Janice loves Winterlude.

“I guess it's just getting out in the community. Because there's so many, everyone's out there, and everybody's in good moods, you know, it's so nice to do that in the winter. Get out! Side!”


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