Wild Winter Festivals

December 7, 2015

Compiled by Kris Parfitt

Photo at right: Winter Festival Fireworks. Photo courtesy of Silver Star Mountain Resort

What is it about winter that fuels our icy inner fires for festivals and carnival frivolity? Check out our guide to Northwest Winter Festivals to answer the call.

2015 – 2016 Winter Festivals that have already happened are listed at the bottom of this page.

Anchorage Fur Rondy

Feb. 26–March 6

Anchorage, Alaska
The 81st annual festival proudly features the annual Miners and Trappers Ball, the Great Alaskan Talent Competition, the royal court and the wackiest race in the state, the Running of the Reindeer! www.furrondy.net

World Ice Art Championships

Feb. 29–March 27

Fairbanks, Alaska
This month-long World Ice Art Championships which features ice sculpting competitions, dog sled rides and a children’s park attracts more than 100 ice artists and approximately 45,000 visitors each year from Alaska and all over the world. www.icealaska.com

White Pass Winter Carnival

March 5–6

White Pass, Washington
Celebrating 30 years, this family-oriented event features the famed snow castle, live music, fireworks, Winter Carnival Ski 4 Kids fundraiser, an 80s Snowboarders reunion, and snow sports competitions. www.skiwhitepass.com

Snow Blast

March 5–6

North Powder, Oregon
Come to Anthony Lakes for the annual Snow Blast for events like the Dummy Downhill and the Big Air contest. Enjoy the beer garden and barbecue, live music and fireworks.  www.anthonylakes.com


2015 – 2016 Winter Festivals that have already happened are listed below:

Whitefish Winter Carnival

Jan. 10, 17, 24–25
Feb. 6–8

Whitefish, Montana
Come enjoy the Merry Maker event, Penguin Plunge, pie social and the grand parade complete with winter royalty!  www.whitefishwintercarnival.com

Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival

Jan. 14–24

Sun Peaks, B.C.
The Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival combines two of British Columbia’s finest assets – winter recreation and wine – and is a delectable experience including skiing, food and riding.  www.sunpeaksresort.com/events-and-festivals

Bavarian IceFest

Jan. 16-17

Leavenworth, Washington
Come participate in the celebration with fun games like the Great Frisbee Sweep, the Ice Cube Scramble and Snowball Toss! Enjoy the snow sculpture contest, live ice carving demonstrations and fireworks. www.leavenworth.org

Great Snow Fest

Jan. 22–31

Teton Valley, Idaho
Enjoy Skiijoring competitions, SnoCross races and Snow Sculpting demonstrations showcase the region’s historical snow-based amenities. www.tetonvalleyfoundation.org/greatsnowfest

Bundle Up Fest

Jan. 24

Wenatchee, Washington
Wenatchee’s downtown winter festival will feature the Bundle Up Fun Run for kids, a warming fire, s’mores, crafts and more!  www.wendowntown.org/events/winterfest

Rossland Winter Carnival

Jan. 28–31

Rossland, B.C.
Dress in costume and join the parade, watch the fire spinner’s show and make sure to visit the Ice Palace and dance to live music.  www.rosslandwintercarnival.com

McCall Winter Carnival

Jan. 29–Feb. 7

McCall, Idaho
This carnival is famous for its snow sculptures, Torchlight and Mardi Gras Parades, live music, and daily festivities spanning everything from comedy shows, snow bike races and the Monster Dog Pull. www.mccallchamber.org/winter-carnival

Sun Valley Nordic Festival

Jan. 29–Feb. 7

Ketchum, Idaho
Come enjoy nine days of Nordic activities, races, clinics, discount trail passes and fun events in the world famous 34km and 15km Boulder Mountain Tour. www.bouldermountaintour.com/svnf.asp

Oregon Winterfest

Feb. 12–14

Bend, Oregon
Enjoy the experiential fire arts exhibit and fire pit competition, fun runs, wine walk, motorbike stunts and plenty of live music. www.bendwinterfest.com

Sandpoint Winter Carnival

Feb. 12–21

Sandpoint, Idaho
The 43rd Sandpoint Winter Carnival includes such favorites as the thrilling Cirque de Sandpoint, Parade of Lights, K9 Keg Pull and plenty of snow-sport events at Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort. www.sandpointwintercarnival.com/events

Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest

Feb. 19–21

Nelson, B.C.
The 10th annual Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest is a favored draw for backcountry and telemark skiers, snowboarders and those who just want 
to socialize and enjoy the culture that the mountains create. www.coldsmokepowderfest.com


Did we miss your festival? Email Events@OutdoorsNW.com or submit details through our online form: www.outdoorsnw.com/add-your-event

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