Winter Festivals

Find your winter tribe and party with them!

Photo at right: Each year, White Pass turns into a winter wonderland, complete with an enormous snow castle. Photo courtesy of White Pass

Whether you’re an alpine expert, a Nordic devotee, a backcountry guru, a snow-day kid or a kid at heart, there is a winter festival in the Northwest to add some fun to the season!

Yellowstone Ski Festival

Nov. 25-29
West Yellowstone, Mont.
More than 3,500 Nordic skiers of all experience levels are expected to glide onto the Rendezvous Ski Trails at this year’s Yellowstone Ski Festival.
Participants can take part in ski clinics from world-renown athletes, test their mettle in races, demo new gear and peruse offerings at an indoor ski show.

Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival

Jan. 16–25
Sun Peaks, B.C.
Entwining a love of wine, fine dining and snow sports, the Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival is back for its 17th year.
This celebration features some of the region’s top tastes and recreation with more than 20 events to choose from, which means you can experience this festival for a few hours or a few days.

Bavarian Icefest

Jan. 17-18
Leavenworth, Wash.
This family-friendly festival packs a lot of action into just two days.
Round up your loved ones for tug o’ war, the great Frisbee sweep or relay races. Kids under six can participate in a fun ice-cube scramble (think piñata rush meets cubed plastic Easter eggs).
Fireworks punctuate the fun of this event, embedding sweet memories that will last.

McCall Winter Carnival

Jan. 30-Feb. 8
McCall, Idaho
While the McCall Winter Carnival has been around for almost a century, this year the event celebrates 50 consecutive years of parties!
View locally built snow sculptures. “Ooo” and “ahh” at the snow bike races. Sip your favorite beer or wine. Watch parades, and start Mardi Gras a little early this year.

Whitefish Winter Carnival

Feb. 6-8
Whitefish, Mont.
If you’re looking for some winter royalty, creative parade floats, delicious food and fun music, and a whole lot of silly shenanigans, the Whitefish Winter Carnival has you covered on all accounts.
Just be sure to watch out for the mischievous yetis…!

Hoodoo Winter Carnival

Feb. 7
Sisters, Ore.
Home of the popular dummy downhill contest, the Hoodoo Winter Carnival is more fun than you can shake an ax at.
But, you’ll want to practice your ax throwing for the ax-throwing booth. Then get ready for Frisbee golf, the three-legged obstacle race, a hula-hoop contest, team tube-racing, a pie eating contest and more!

Sandpoint Winter Carnival

Feb. 13-22
Sandpoint, Idaho
For more than 40 years, Sandpoint Winter Carnival has been helping locals and visitors avoid cabin fever with its annual mid-winter amusements.
This year’s event lineup includes fireworks at Schweitzer Mountain, delicious food at Taste of Sandpoint and beautiful sights at the Parade of Lights.
Rest-assured, there will be plenty of sliding around in the snow, too.

Oregon Winterfest

Feb. 13-15
Bend, Ore.
This event aims to be Oregon’s most adrenaline inducing winter festival.
For starters, you can watch athletes compete on the Northwest’s largest off-mountain rail jam. Next: Run in the 5k or 10k, soak up music, embark on a wine-tasting tour, watch the ice-carving competition and treat the kids to plenty of fun activities.

Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest

Feb. 20-22
Nelson, B.C.
Do you love backcountry skiing and riding? Then, this one’s for you!
You’ll have opportunities to learn something new in clinics, enjoy some good-natured competition and celebrate the beauty of the backcountry. Curious beginners are welcomed!

White Pass Winter Carnival

Feb. 28-March 1
White Pass, Wash.
How many opportunities do you get to play in a castle made of snow? We’d wager not too many, unless you attend the White Pass Winter Carnival.
This event isn’t just family-friendly, it’s dubbed “family-oriented,” and it includes a kids’ carnival and fun competitions for kids and adults.
There will also be fireworks and live music, and a handful of adult-friendly delights.

Snow Blast

March 8
North Powder, Ore.
The annual Snow Blast at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort features live music, fun events (like the dummy downhill, potato sack races and big air contest), an outdoor BBQ and a beer garden.
When the sun sets, the fireworks come out! The display is said to be the largest fireworks show in Eastern Oregon.

World Ski and Snowboard Festival

April 10-19
Whistler, B.C.
The World Ski and Snowboard Festival offers up opportunities to watch top athletes glide and ride, as well as the perfect setting to carve your own turns.
Other events over the weeklong extravaganza include outdoor concerts, arts, film, fashion, après ski and non-stop nightlife.

Compiled by Diane Rudholm

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