Winter Festival-goers flock to Fort Qu'Appelle for snowy fun

About 2,000 people made their way to Fort Qu'Appelle this weekend for its annual winter festival.

Annual event includes polar bear dip, motorcycle races, and eating contests

Kids watch over the water as festival-goers prepare for the polar bear dip at Echo Lake, Sask. (Brian Rodgers/CBC)

For the town of Fort Qu'Appelle, cold weather is part of the fun.

The town is holding its annual Winter Festival on Echo Lake this weekend.

Organizers said it's about bringing people to the valley so they want to come year-round.

"It does get people to our town and hopefully that will get them back in the summer months or to the ski hill or the ski trails," event organizer Michelle Johns said. "Our focus is get them here once, see what we have to offer, and we hope you come back."

About 2000 people headed to Echo Lake this weekend for its annual Winter Festival. 1:20

On Saturday, 20 brave souls took the frigid polar bear dip into the lake to raise money for charity.

Other events include motorcycle races on the ice, a doughnut eating contest, and a toboggan hill.

Hunter Hilderman from Fort Qu'Appelle said the best part of his day was the pie-eating contest — which he won.

When asked how his friends felt about him winning the contest, Hilderman said they were "jealous." He also won the doughnut eating contest.

Hunter Hilderman says he took home first place in the festival's pie-eating contest. (Brian Rodgers/CBC)

Another local, Austin Simes, was there with his family. He said the warm weather has made this winter the best in the valley.

"They should come out so they can have lots of fun and get some fresh air, because it's like one of the best winters we've ever had," he said.

Johns said she just hopes everyone comes out and gives the valley a try. 

"You can just come here and enjoy the beauty," she said. 


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