Despite the unseasonably warm weather in recent weeks, Radium Hot Springs is gearing up for a blast of winter fun.
The fourth annual Radium Winterfest, a Radium Events Committee production, will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 16th. Events including a popular curling fun-spiel, the mountain man and woman competition, crafts, games and more will take place in the area around the Radium Seniors’ Hall and Legends Field.
The curling fun-spiel — an amateur curling tournament involving teams of four curling on the outdoor hockey rink next to Brent’s Shack — is a popular non-competitive event in which friends and family can freely rotate in and out of the team as play continues. The short sheet of ice promises to make things interesting, and curlers will be able to fuel their games with snacks from the nearby shack, being run over the weekend by the Rotary Club of Radium.
The event helps build community spirit, while ensuring the events committee is able to continue to put on a roster of lively happenings in the village throughout the year, explained Tourism Radium events co-ordinator Kara Stringer.
“The whole event is based around family,” she said. “We always host Winterfest on the Alberta Family Day weekend, because there are more people in town; we might as well get them out of their hotel rooms to see how much fun we can have.”
The ever-popular mountain man contest, which involves three timed challenges of burly brawn, bushcraft, and ingenuity, is being expanded across gender lines into a mountain man and mountain woman competition this year.
“It’s a small relay that consists of three tasks: two competitors at a time must run to the pylons and retrieve one tire at a time, then run back to the start line and put the tire over the pylon,” explained Stringer. “Once all three tires are looped on the pylon, they must approach the saw horses, cut one biscuit from the log with a bow saw, then move to the fire station, and with the matches, kindling and wood supplied, start a fire.”
Wagon rides will also be on offer, as a tractor will haul wagons around the blocks that encompass Legends Field and the outdoor skating rink, over what will be about a 15-minute round trip. This year’s Winterfest will also feature more crafts and games for kids. A crockpot cook-off was planned, but due to strict Interior Health regulations around sharing meals at community events, had to be put on hold until next year.
The Radium Events Committee, which operates independently of Tourism Radium, puts on the Winterfest event each year. Its six core volunteers include Karen Sharp, Karen Larsen, Leann Laisnez, Marlise Hess, Heather Purkell, and Amanda McQuarrie.