WinterFun a success, says organizers

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While sub-par weather led to cancellations at Victoria Park on Sunday, organizers say the first ever WinterFun weekend was an overall success.

The long Islander Day weekend saw WinterFun fill a void that was left by the cancellation of the Jack Frost Children's Winterfest.

The three-day festival of family-oriented activities ended Monday with a swim at the CARI Complex and a free skate with members of the P.E.I. Rocket.

Donna Hurry, the city's tourism officer, said the weekend was co-ordinated so that weather conditions would not result in widespread cancellations.

She said said all 20 venues were at maximum capacity and while the outdoor venue at Victoria Park was cancelled on Sunday, all the indoor venues were still a go.

"Even with inclement weather, the WinterFun weekend was organized so it wouldn't stop the event from going on," said Hurry. "Right from the first event with the official opening and pancake breakfast, the crowds came out."

The weather was picture- perfect on opening day Monday.

The venues had numerous activities including sledding, movie showings, puppet plays, skates, swims and much more.

"The kids really loved it," said Kristina Burke, who along with husband Daniel had brought their three kids Maria, 6, Seth, 4,  and Tanner,1, to the venue set up at the Kent Street fire station.

The venue saw firefighters give a tour of their vehicles and the station, while offering some fire safety tips and barbecuing hot dogs.

The station also saw city police hold a drug awareness presentation and give tours of their vehicles.

"We wanted to be a part of the organization. Every department is looking to participate (in WinterFun)," said fire chief Randy MacDonald. "It's going over really well."

It wasn't hard to tell Seth was having a good time. The four-year-old was decked out in miniature fire gear and enjoying a barbecued hot dog when the family left the station.

"It's been great," said Kristina

The Cornwall family was one of many that also planned on heading to Winterfun Land set up at Victoria Park.

While the venue closed Sunday, it was a smashing success on Saturday by offering sledding hills, sleigh rides and snow sculpting.

A snowman building competition at the park was one of the weekend's highlights, with more than 60 entries.

The winning design came from a team of Tyler and Emma Johnston, Nicole Ryan, William and Laura MacNeil, and Francis and Lily Bird.

The Dog Walkway competition at the park was also popular, with Patsy Gillis and her eight-year-old pomeranian named Foxy winning the title.

Geographic location: Victoria Park, Kent Street

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  • Hee Bee
    February 19, 2013 - 10:27

    I agree, it was a great weekend, the kids and I had so much fun. The city did a wonderful job coordinating with local businesses and organizations! I want to thank all the city staff and volunteers, it was very well organized, I never saw so many children in one place (west royalty centre) but everyone was having a good time!! The highlight of the weekend for us was the snowshoe event at Winter River (and of course free pancakes put on by the Parkdale Lions). What a great way to spend the long weekend. KUDOS! A mom