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A warm welcome: Manitouwadge Frosty Days Festival’s opening ceremonies

Manitouwadge Frosty Days Festival has begins!

MANITOUWADGE -- This weekend’s Frosty Days got off to a wintry start on Friday night, where the opening ceremonies of the annual festival featured a warm greeting from Mayor John MacEachern, followed by the presentation of prizes and awards.

First on the agenda was the awarding of the top prizes for the annual Snow Sculpture contest.

This contest is a popular feature of Frosty Days, and this year there were seven entries from ages ranging from elementary school to seniors. The snowy works of art depict everything from eagles and dragons and bears to miners, minions, forts and trains. A lot of hard work and imagination went into the creation of these sculptures and all entrants should be proud of their achievements.

The three top displays, chosen by a hand-picked panel of local townsfolk, were judged on creativity, detail of design and overall impression. The winners received cash prizes of $200, $150 and $100 respectively.  These were awarded to: 1st: The Eagles at 75 Matachewan Road, 2nd: The Circus Train at the back of 4 Fisher Avenue (On Station Road), and 3rd: The Cola Bear at 85 Warbler. Congratulations to the winners, and to all of the contestants. Well done, everyone!

Next came the proclamation of the Citizen of the Year award. There are many local heroes to choose from for this prestigious honour, and narrowing it down to just one recipient is a difficult task. Nominations are sent in by the residents of the town in December, and were announced Friday at the Frosty Days opening ceremony.  Instead of one individual this year, 2021’s honoured citizen of the year award was presented to a group: The volunteers of the Manitouwadge Food bank. This dedicated army of volunteers collects and distributes food and other necessities to local folks who need a little support to get by. In 2021, the group helped out over 660 children, adults and seniors. Thank you and congratulations, Manitouwadge Food Bank volunteers, for your generosity, hard work and great community spirit.

After the official ceremonies ended, the fun continued. There was a sliding party and night ski for the adventuresome folks, and a hot dog roast for those who preferred the warmth and comfort of the bonfire.

Thanks go out to Katie Law, community services programmer, and her team, and to the Manitouwadge volunteer firefighters who were on hand to assure everyone’s safety at the bonfire and night ski.

Coming up on Saturday: Get your beach gear on and join the folks up at the Kiwissa ski hill! Snap a photo of you in your beachiest outfit at the hill and post it on the Kiwissa Ski Club Facebook page  by 6 p.m. on Saturday to be entered into a draw for a $200 gift basket; one each for youth and adults.

Also happening on Saturday: Public skating at the Rec Centre from 1 to 2 p.m., and Family Literacy Day activities, sponsored by the Manitouwadge Library and Manitouwadge Learning Centre. At 1 p.m., join Tara, Beth and Cameron at the ski hill bonfire site for children’s stories, mysteries and some winter bubbles fun. All weekend long, you can enjoy a Story Walk around the ski-hill pond, and snap some pictures for the Photo Scavenger Hunt. The list can be found on the Learning Centre’s Facebook page Submissions will be accepted until Tuesday at noon to be entered in a draw for a prize.

So, whether you’re bundled up against the cold or colourfully decked out for the beach, adventurous or prefer to sit by the fire and enjoy some warm conversation and cocoa, come join in on the fun this weekend for the Manitouwadge Frosty Days Festival.

Marya Kalen

About the Author: Marya Kalen

Marya is a self-described wordsmith: a reporter, a writer of novels and short stories, and an artist, dabbling in many mediums.
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