A handful of groups will be inviting Hay River to celebrate the coldest season of the year.
The Winter Celebration is set for Feb. 6, with a day full of activities for all ages and interests.
Dale Loutit, the recreation programmer with the Town of Hay River, has been pulling together different service groups that will each have something to offer.
“Winter is long, and we don’t do much to really celebrate this season,” she said. “There are no holidays after Christmas, so this will be something to look forward to.”
Loutit said the idea originated with Marilyn Barnes, who approached the recreation department with her plans.
“I wanted a mini-carnival for winter,” said Barnes. “Even if there are not many days of celebration after Christmas, we should always celebrate life.”
The celebration will kick off with a pancake breakfast at the community hall from Union of Northern Workers Local 6. Then once that is cleaned up, the Northern Farm Training Institute will be bringing in some of its animals for a petting zoo station.
Loutit said there will be goats, sheep and possibly a new calf.
In the afternoon, the NWT Centennial Library will host a snow carving activity on its lawn, with games and hot chocolate to warm up inside.
Meanwhile, Ecology North will lead a group on a nature walk along the Kiwanis Trail, with a fire and hot chocolate at the end. In the evening, the Film Club will show Northern-interest films at the library. For young people, there will be Lights On with a smoothie-making station set up.
Throughout the day there will be a free swim period and an oldtimers hockey tournament.
Craig Edwards, the program librarian at NWT Centennial Library, is looking forward to hosting part of the celebration.
“It’s always good to get different people into the library using the facilities,” he said. “Ultimately, I am excited about having a chance to get outdoors. It’s February, it’s cold, people get shacked in. So this will be a chance for people to get out and mingle and have fun. It should be a good, fun day.”
Edwards will be helping out with the snow carving. He said the library will have a supply of snow tools and garbage cans for packing the snow.
And he is also planning a story time with a Valentine’s Day theme for ages three to six.
“Everybody is offering a bit, and there will be something for every age group,” he said.
Edwards would like to see Winter Celebration become an annual event.
“I hope next year to incorporate a scavenger hunt into it, and maybe stretch out the celebrations over a few days,” he said. “But first we need to see what our participation is going to be like the first time around.”
Barnes also hopes the celebration will become an annual event, but will be happy if it stays simple.
“The phrase ‘Many small pleasures’ sticks in my mind,” she said. “Things don’t have to be huge. Sometimes larger things require a great deal. I want this to stay fun for everyone.”