New event replaces individual winter festivals in O'Leary, Alberton and Tignish
© Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer
Nine-year-old Morgan Burden leads the way as she and six-year-old Jazzlyn Smallman round a curve on a Mill River Ski Park trail. They are among the close to 50 youth enrolled in this winter's West Prince Sports Council after-school program. Several volunteers are helping with program delivery.
Plans are coming together for a new winter festival in West Princ. Up West Winterfest takes place in O'Leary, Alberton and Tignish, Jan. 14-20.
“Up West Winterfest promises to be an excellent event for the people of West Prince during a normally slow and quiet time of year,” said Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson. “These communities have forgone their usual winter carnival events and have come together in the spirit of community and co-operation to host one big event for all of West Prince. I’m very hopeful that will encourage residents from other communities to make the trip west and take part in this inaugural event.”
O’Leary will host events Jan. 14; Tignish will host on Jan. 15; and Alberton will host on Jan. 16. No events are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17. The Rodd Mill River Resort will be the centre of the action Jan. 18-20. Events include snow sculpting contests, public skates, tobogganing, hockey skills competitions, card games, local entertainment, fireworks, sleigh rides and dozens of other activities for all ages.
The Department of Tourism and Culture provided $4,500 to match $1,500 contributions from each the three communities to make the event possible.
Students from the sport and leisure management program at Holland College in Alberton are organizing the event along with their instructor Jeff Ellsworth and officials from provincial parks.
“The students have poured their hearts into this event and they’ve worked very hard to make it a reality,” said Ellsworth. "It’s going to be a great week for this part of the Island.”
For details on Up West Winterfest call 853-0012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org