No need to hibernate

NNSL file photo Kleo Skavinski sculpts snow in front of NWT Centennial Library during the first Winter Celebration on Feb. 6, 2016.

NNSL file photo
Kleo Skavinski sculpts snow in front of NWT Centennial Library during the first Winter Celebration on Feb. 6, 2016.

The Winter Celebration is returning for a second year.

And organizer Dale Loutit, the recreation programmer with the Town of Hay River, says the one day of events – set for Feb. 4 – definitely has more activities than its first appearance last year.

Loutit said it’s an opportunity to get active and have fun in winter.

“It’s just to celebrate that,” she said. “What winter has to offer and all the fun things you can do in winter.”

Loutit explained that sometimes people need encouragement to get active in winter.

“Just get out there and enjoy winter because everybody hibernates more in the wintertime,” she said. “And you find that it’s hard to get out and find the motivation when you never have any sunlight to get out and be active.”

Loutit believes the highlights of Winter Celebration will be snowshoe races, closest-to-the-button curling by the ice road on the frozen Hay River, and a hockey game at the Ray Benoit Outdoor Rink in 553 featuring firefighters and members of the RCMP.

“The outdoor hockey game is totally new,” she said, adding it also will feature a pizza party.

The curling on the river is also an addition to the event.

“That’s going to be totally new because we’ll be painting the button and then we’ll have closest to the button competition,” Loutit explained.

Other activities include a pancake breakfast, a book giveaway, snow carving, a free movie, swimming, and a kids’ winter art display at NWT Centennial Library.

Loutit has been working to organize the Winter Celebration since mid-December.

The event is sponsored by the Town of Hay River, and many community organizations and businesses have become involved by helping to sponsor events and activities, and by donating prizes.

Loutit hopes to make Winter Celebration an annual event in the first week of February.

She said that it’s a long haul at this time of year with no holidays between early January and April.

-Paul Bickford