Construction of the snow kingdom for the Jack Frost Winterfest is well underway in on the Charlottetown waterfront.
The festival, Feb. 14-17, is being revamped this year.
That reboot involves moving the snow kingdom from the Charlottetown Event Grounds to Confederation Landing Park and it will see the event spread among a total of five separate venues, all within walking distance of each other.
Pat Brunet, site manager with the outdoor snow kingdom, said the site will encompass Confederation Landing Park as well as the parking lot run by the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation.
“Island Coastal has been dumping snow here for the last few weeks,’’ Brunet said Thursday.
“This (parking lot) specifically is going to be the tube run. We’ll pile it up and create three lanes of fun.’’
The event is being run by Capital Events Inc., an industry-led organization made up of the hotel association, Downtown Charlottetown Inc., Discover Charlottetown with seats also held by the City of Charlottetown and SERF (Special Events Reserve Fund).
Wayne Long, events development officer with the city and spokesman for Capital Events Inc., said Confederation Landing Park (parking lot portion) will have the most active components in terms of sledding, tubing and sliding while the park itself will feature interactive activities, such as fat-tire biking (tires designed for winter riding), sling shot activities, a snow maze, axe throwing, ice sculpting and a chill zone where people can sit around a fire pit.
Next door, Founders’ Food Hall and Market will feature an indoor food pavilion and act as a warmup zone. There’s also a skating rink just outside.
- Confederation Landing Park – Outdoor family activities
- Delta P.E.I. Convention Centre – Fun participative and interactive family activities
- Confederation Centre of the Arts – Children’s shows and entertainment
- Founders’ Food Hall and Market – Local vendors food and beverage artisans
- Downtown Charlottetown – Free event, outdoor festivities and pyrotechnics
“The festival, in its entirety, is moving back to the downtown,’’ Long said. “With the event being in the downtown it’s a part of the whole reimagination of Jack Frost ... the festival is in a more conducive tight area now so it’s very walkable.’’
The five venues are Founders’ Food Hall and Market, Confederation Landing Park, the Delta P.E.I. Convention Centre, Victoria Row (the Aurora event that includes a fireworks show) and Confederation Centre of the Arts.
The decision to revamp things was made after consultations with a consultant and past festival patrons, Long said.
Organizers are also targeting an older demographic. The word children has been dropped from the festival name and while there’s still plenty of things to attract youngsters, activities like fat-tire biking and freestyle snowmobile shows have been added to attract more adults.
“It’s starting to evolve so, beginning this year and over the next three years, you’ll see a number of changes,’’ Long said.
Following events are new to Jack Frost Winterfest this year
- Freestyle snowmobiling
- Snowskate park
- Fat-tire biking
- Giant slingshot
- Fir tree throwing
- Axe throwing
- Lumberjack game
- Arm wrestling
- Snow yoga