Fairmont Hot Springs is celebrating its 4th Annual Fire and Ice Festival this upcoming weekend, with Robbie Burns Day, Australia Day and a Mardi Gras dinner all lined up for this year’s culture-filled celebration.
“We lucked out that on this year, both Robbie Burns Day and Australia Day landed on the same weekend as Fire and Ice,” special events co-ordinator Andi Dzilums shared with The Valley Echo. “Along those lines, we figured why not incorporate them into the festival.”
Dzilums explained how the festival was founded, having debuted in 2010.
“When the Olympics came through, we had the torch come through Fairmont, so that was the start of the festival, and now we’ve changed that festival around to portray Fairmont’s community and culture,” he said. “This year’s going to be fun. We always like to get the community involved.”
Mountainside Market is graciously hosting a free barbecue lunch on Friday (January 25) from noon to 4 p.m. to thank the community for its support and kick off the festival.
On Friday night, guests are invited to wear their plaid kilts and enjoy the Robbie Burns celebrations in the Bear’s Paw Bar & Grill at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort with live music until 11 p.m. Scottish-style food will be on the menu, and a costume contest with a $50 prize will determine who the best-dressed Tartan is.
“On Robbie Burns Day, we’re going to have a pretty unique event happening in the Bears Paw lounge with great music by Fairmont local Mike Orr, food to represent Scotland, and a lot of drink specials for people that are visiting the resort and Fairmont during that time,” Dzilums said.
Australia Day and the Mardi Gras Gala both happen on Saturday (January 26). The Australia Day celebrations will take place at the Fairmont Ski Hill, where prizes will be awarded for the best Aussie costume as well as to skiers and boarders who hit the slopes in their favourite ‘Down Unda’ outfits.
Saturday evening is when the Mardi Gras Masquerade Gala Dinner takes place. Selling out every year, the gala costs $80 per person and offers dinner and entertainment in terrific company.
“The Mardi Grad Masquerade Gala Dinner is an FBA (Fairmont Business Association) fundraising event,” Dzilums told The Valley Echo. “Each year we have a silent auction, and each year the money raised goes towards an important cause which the FBA supports. This year the money raised through the auction will be going towards an information kiosk being developed at the entrance of the Fairmont community.”
The silent auction as always will boast some wonderful items to bid on, from golf passes, hotel stays, and even NHL signed jerseys, and Dzilums hopes for a repeat of last year’s goal, which was around $4,000.
When asked about a dress code, he explained people can dress casually but that dressing up is encouraged.
“This year, because were having it as a masquerade theme, we’re hoping that we see some pretty fun dress-up costumes,” Dzilums said. “Masks will be provided for each guest who comes to the gala — so even if you don’t dress up to the nines, we’ll have masks available at each of the table settings so you don’t feel out of place.”
Sharing history from the event, Dzilums spoke about how the Fire and Ice Festival has evolved since its beginning.
“Each year the festival committee changes the theme to make it fun and exciting,” he said.”This year’s Masquerade theme was something the committee thought would be unique to the valley. We always strive to host an event which people from across the valley can come and enjoy in the Fairmont community.”
Wrapping up the weekend will be a free Smokin’ Pancake Breakfast on Sunday (January 27) from 8 a.m. until noon generously hosted by Cindy Levagood of the Smoking Waters Coffee Company.
“What better way to finish the weekend than free pancakes! The Fire and Ice Festival is a great Fairmont community event and people should definitely come down and see what’s going on in Fairmont,” Dzilums said. “I think a lot of the businesses are going to be putting on sales during that time, so it would a great weekend to just come down and visit.”