Archive for the ‘Montana’ Category


Chill Out: Winter Festival Roundup by Lynn O’Rourke Hayes

The winter months provide the opportunity to enjoy festivals and gatherings that celebrate all things icy and cold. Looking for an adventure where you can  chill out with carvers and climbers? Try these spots:

Ouray, Colo.

This southwestern mountain town, known for its picturesque jagged peaks, is home to the country’s premiere ice festival. In its 14th year, competitors of all levels, climbing companies and spectators gather for the Ouray Ice Festival. The Kids Climbing College offers free instruction to youngsters interested in learning and testing their skills in the Ouray Ice Park where nine routes have been established for beginners.  All equipment is provided and prizes are awarded to every child who climbs. Jan. 9 to 11, 2009. Tel. 970-325-4288,

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Enjoy the beauty of Lake Louise and the glacier-clad Mt. Victoria during the Ice Magic Festival held Jan. 23 to 25, 2009. Professional carvers go to work on 15 blocks of ice, weighing 300 lbs. each, and transform them into elaborately designed, seven-foot-tall world-class ice sculptures in three days.  Spectators may cast their votes in the People’s Choice Award and Children’s Choice Award competitions and thus are entered to win prizes. Weather permitting, the sculptures remain on display through March. Tel. 403-762-8421,

Stowe, Vt.

The 35th Annual Stowe Winter Carnival offers a winter wonderland of family fun. Tours of the historic town, a Village Night celebration, ski races, a kid’s carnival and the chance to see the pros at work during the ice carving competition make for a great winter getaway. Jan. 22 to 25, 2009. Tel. 802-253-7321,

Aspen, Colo.

Now in its 58th year, Wintersköl, Aspen’s annual toast to snow, will be held Jan. 8 to 11, 2009.   Wintersköl is four days of festive events, including a quirky canine fashion show, torchlight ski parades and fireworks over Aspen and Smuggler Mountains. With activities for visitors of all ages, it’s a favorite among locals. Tel.  970-925-1940,

Whitefish, Mont.

The 50th Annual Whitefish Winter Carnival kicks off with a Penguin Plunge (a hole is cut into Whitefish Lake and participants take a dip to raise funds for charity). Visitors will also enjoy an old fashioned Main Street parade, ice sculpting contest, a kiddie carnival, battle of the bands, pie social, torch-light ski parade, cross-country ski race, hockey tournament, a figure skating demonstration and more. The festivities are open to the public and most are free. Feb. 6 to 8, 2009. Tel. 877-862-3548,