P.E.I.'s Jack Frost festival opens with extra snow, additional volunteers

The Jack Frost Children's Winterfest opened its winter wonderland to happy festival goers Friday night despite some unseasonably warm temperatures mid-week.

Warm weather, melting snow and ice, lack of volunteers all overcome by festival organizers

Jack Frost Children's Winterfest opened Friday night and continues Saturday and Sunday. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

The Jack Frost Children's Winterfest opened to a crowd of cold-weather enthusiasts Friday night in Charlottetown despite unseasonably warm temperatures earlier in the week.

The mid-week melt left the festival site bare of snow in a few areas. But the event's snow crew fixed things up with 70 loads of snow trucked in by the Prince Edward Island transportation department.

"I think I'm probably the first Canadian to complain about some warm weather in February, but it was a little nerve wracking on Wednesday morning when we had some rain and some warmer  temperatures," said Craig Jones, president of the Hotel Association of Prince Edward Island.
Children enjoy the snow slides at the Jack Frost Children's Winterfest. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

Keeping ice carvings from melting took a bit of work as well.

"We actually sprayed all our finished sculptures with water to make them very icy and then wrapped them in tarps and they all survived. It was just great, great — it made a lot of difference," said Peter Vogelaar, an ice sculptor with  Ephemeral Arts Ltd.

"We've seen the sculptures handle the warm weather. But I think what happens here is the combination of the high winds you guys have and maybe some salt in the humidity...it just eats snow like crazy and you can see the blocks that weren't covered, they just disappeared. But everything we had tarped had no direct wind contact, it's made a big difference."

Jones said a last minute appeal for more volunteers also produced results.

"That's the island for you, that's Maritime hospitality. All you got to do is put the word out and everybody comes out, we've got no problems this year, lots of volunteers."

The Jack Frost Children's Winterfest continues Saturday and Sunday.


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