This year's Sunrise Festival in Inuvik, N.W.T., aims to get people active

This weekend the Town of Inuvik, N.W.T., holds its Sunrise Festival, an annual event that celebrates the return of the sun after a month without it.

Skating, sliding, sno-pitch and parka yoga events planned

The sun rises in Inuvik, N.W.T., this week about a month after the last sunset. The town will hold its annual Sunrise Festival this weekend. (David Thurton/CBC)

As the sun returns to the Arctic, the Town of Inuvik, N.W.T., is urging residents to get outside and enjoy it.

This weekend the Town of Inuvik is hosting the Sunrise Festival, an annual event that celebrates the return of the sun after a month without it.

"This being my first sunrise festival and first winter in Inuvik, I am trying to get outside. I'm trying to get more people outside being active," said Ray Solotki, the festival's co-ordinator.

The town has made a couple of changes including moving the main venue for the outdoor events to a location that's closer to downtown.

This year, the snow park, the bonfire and the fireworks display will be held at Twin Lakes, a 15 to 20 minute walk from Inuvik's main street. Organizers hope people will walk instead of driving there.

"A lot of time people just drive up with their truck and they watch the fireworks from their truck and maybe they go and stand by the fire for a bit," said Kylik Kisoun, who is an organizer and a local tour operator.

"This year we hope people come on down, watch the figure skating, throw on some skates if they want to. Get some hot chocolate. Go sliding with the kids."

Kisoun is helping to build the festival's snow park that includes igloos, a skating rink, ice sculptures and a snow castle with a slide.

In addition to a more walking-friendly location, organizers have added a couple of physical activities to festival this year. They include "Sunset Parka Yoga" and a slo-pitch game or, as the organizers call it, "sno-pitch."

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