North

Yellowknife snow castle appears to be sinking, forcing Snowking's latest closure

Snowking Tony Foliot says depending on the weather, there's a chance organizers may "pull the plug" early on the Snowking Winter Festival this year.

Castle temporarily closed Saturday after organizers noticed flooding in the courtyard

The Snowking Winter Festival temporarily closed its snow castle earlier this week due to unusually warm weather in Yellowknife. On Saturday morning, Snowking Tony Foliot said the snow castle on the frozen lake seems to be sinking. (CBC Arts)

The Snowking Winter Festival temporarily closed again on Saturday, after organizers noting the snow castle on Yellowknife Bay seemed to be sinking.

"A strange phenomenon seems to have taken place. The weight of the castle's pushed down the lake," said Snowking, who, in the off-season, goes by the name Tony Foliot. "The front door seems like it's sinking."

Foliot said ankle-deep water can be seen outside of the castle, which is concerning.

"It's almost like the castle wants to be Atlantis this year."

'Last night might have been our last night,' says Snowking Tony Foliot. (Stephan Folkers)

Foliot said his festival crew are getting "kind of down and beat up" about the temporary closures, but said so far, the festival shouldn't be in too much trouble financially. If it comes down to it, Foliot said he'll have to put on a raffle to hit the festival's bottom line.

"After checking this morning, last night might have been our last night," said Foliot.

"I'm going to wait to get a couple more people to agree with me that maybe this is time to pull the plug."

There's a 9 p.m. concert with the Heavyweights Brass Band scheduled for Saturday evening. The festival website states there will be an update about the evening event, posted online after 5 p.m.

It's almost like the castle wants to be Atlantis this year.- Tony Foliot, Snowking

Foliot said his team is talking about backup plans for performers who are scheduled for the rest of the week.

The snow castle faced temporary daytime closures starting on Tuesday.

In a news release Monday, organizers of Snowking's Winter Festival said unseasonably warm weather has necessitated a closure during the castle's regular daytime hours of 12 to 5 p.m.

The annual Snowking Winter Festival is scheduled to run from March 2-31 this year, but may close early depending on weather, says Foliot. (CBC Arts)

"This is the first time in its 24-season history that Snowking's Winter Festival has had to close, and the first time that a March warm spell has threatened the castle," the news release stated in part.

The festival had been scheduled to run from March 2 to 31.

People can keep updated on the castle's events and possible closures on the festival's website.

Written by Priscilla Hwang, based on The Weekender interview by Marc Winkler

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