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Sun, snow and stories at Manitouwadge Frosty Days Festival 2022

Manitouwadge residents participate in outdoor fun at Manitouwadge Frosty Days Festival 2022.

MANITOUWADGE -- Blue skies and stories ‘round the bonfire one day, then lots of fresh snow the next, provided exciting elements for everyone during this year’s Frosty Days Festival in Manitouwadge.

There was lots of action on the ski hill Saturday, where people skied, snowboarded and tobogganed down the slopes in the bright sunshine.

The Manitouwadge Learning Centre and the Manitouwadge Public Library teamed up to host a fun-filled day of learning, experimenting and playing. Although ABC Life Literacy Canada declared Jan. 27 as ‘Family Literacy Day 2022: Learning in the Great Outdoors’, the team decided to delay their celebrations and use the Frosty Days venue as their platform to get the word out.

Elizabeth (Beth) Bierworth, CEO of the library, read a children’s story by the cozy bonfire, followed by Tara Ruel, the executive director of the Learning Centre, presenting two short mystery stories. The participants, with a bit of prompting and after a few extra clues were provided, were able to solve the mysteries.

Kids of all ages were then invited to have a bit of fun, painting the snow with spray bottles filled with colourful water and blowing ice bubbles with Cameron Ormstron, one of the library’s assistants. The Manitouwadge EarlyON Child and Family Centre’s ( donation of ‘Snow Kitchen’ tool kits ensured that even the youngest preschoolers enjoyed a Frosty Days Festival learning experience.

The fun continues throughout the weekend with a delightful story walk and the ‘Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt’. You can find the list of 12 items in the Frosty Days program or on the library or Learning Centre’s Facebook pages, then send them in by Tuesday at noon for a chance to win a prize. 

There was more fun and frivolity on Sunday with a game of Shinny at the Rec Centre, followed by public skating. Up at the Kiwissa ski hill, there were many great entries in the popular Cardboard Box Toboggan races. It was a colourful scene, with many creative sleds and costumes.

Winner of the creativity category in the kid’s division was the hamburger-shaped sled, driven by sisters, Emma and Alexa, and the ‘Moetouwadge’, a beachy, flamingo themed sled, took first place in the adult division. The ‘Olympic Bobsled’, piloted by Leo and Jaden, won in both the kid’s division and the fastest sled overall. The ‘Moetouwadge’ earned the top speed prize in the adult division. A big thanks goes out to the Manitouwadge High School Athletic Association for hosting this event!

Adding to the surreal, madcap atmosphere at the sled races was the Cheer Chair competition, where spectators were invited to decorate lawn chairs in a summer theme. The contest was sponsored by the Beach House, Manitouwadge’s newest B&B, and Barminco Mining. Additional prizes were provided by White Birch Designs.

Although the official Frosty Days Festival ends today, there is still lots to do on this Family Day long weekend. There’s more skating at the Rec Centre from 1 to 3 p.m., and from 12 to 5 p.m., and there are free passes for the ski hill (up to a limit of $500), courtesy of the December CFNO radio’s “Song That Pays” contest winner, Jim Moffat.

And remember, even though the 2022 Manitouwadge Frosty Days Festival has come and gone, you can still head outside for some healthy, refreshing activity in this wintery wonderland we call home.

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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