Freezing temperatures and fireworks were mixed together to create some frosty fun in Charlottetown Saturday.
A large crowd packed Victoria Row for The Guardian’s first-ever Frosty Night event as part of the Jack Frost Winterfest.
By the time the fireworks display began at 8 p.m., the crowd had grown so large that it was overflowing into Queen Street.
Even before the first firework was shot off the roof of the Confederation Centre of the Arts, nine-year-old Tamara Gauthier and seven-year-old sister Autumn Alder had already determined the display was not only the highlight of the night but also of the festival.
“Yay, fireworks,” yelled the two when asked what their favourite part of Jack Frost was.
However, Autumn noted the two also had plenty of fun at the festival on Friday and throughout Saturday.
“Last night and today we were on the snow slides,” said Autumn. “We love Jack Frost.”
Saturday was the first time fireworks had been part of the festival since 2012.
David MacKenzie, regional president-P.E.I. for the Saltwire Network, owners of The Guardian, said the newspaper and its staff were more than thrilled to be a part of the free community event.
“It’s so exciting. This has been an overwhelming success and we’re very proud to be part of such a great community event,” said MacKenzie. “I also want to thank the organizers of the Jack Frost Winterfest, they are true professionals and have put on such an unbelievable festival.”
While much of the festival is held at Eastlink Centre, Murphy’s Community Centre and the outdoor Snow Kingdom at the Charlottetown Event Grounds, the Frosty Night had a different venue that aimed to entertain both adults and youngsters.
The event saw both a licensed area as well as a family zone, with buskers, live ice sculpting and performances by The Love Junkies throughout the night.
“I think this is a good event, I hope this happens again,” said ice sculptor Peter Vogelaar, who is from B.C. but has been on P.E.I. for every Jack Frost since the festival began.
The event even gave Vogelaar a chance to catch up with some old friends like Chris Sherren, whom he met at the very first year of Jack Frost.
“I was just born when (Jack Frost) started,” said Chris, who still goes to the festival with his grandparents Roger and Anna Sherren.
The three family members all gave Saturday’s event a thumbs-up, with Anna noting the festival appeals to all ages.
“Our grandchildren are a lot older (now) but they still like coming to see the guys and see the ice sculpting,” she said.
Roger was also impressed, noting that the chilly temperatures did little to stop Saturday’s event from attracting a large crowd.
“It’s not raining, it’s a little cold but everybody is dressed (for it),” he said. “It’s a big crowd, it’s awesome.”