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Christina Lake gearing up for Winterfest

Although there is only a smattering of snow left on the ground, winter is still in full effect and that means Winterfest at Christina Lake.

Although there is only a smattering of snow left on the ground, winter is still in full effect and that means Winterfest at Christina Lake.No one is really sure of when the annual Winterfest celebration began at the lake, but it’s been around for many years.The event, which is put on by the Christina Lake Community Association along with the Christina Lake Chamber of Commerce, goes from Thursday, Jan. 30 right through to Sunday, Feb. 2.Winterfest kicks off with open mic night at the Welcome Centre starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday.“Lisa’s Bistro is serving up food and people are invited to come out and play,” said coordinator Brenda Auge. “We have a good bank of singers and performers here at the lake as well as from Grand Forks. On Friday, action switches to the community hall where sno-pitch starts as well as outdoor youth/adult pick-up ball hockey.“Inside the community hall, we’re going to run a family movie night at the same time,” said Auge. “So if you want your kids to watch a movie while the teens are playing hockey and the adults are playing sno-pitch, it’ll all work out.”Saturday starts out with a pancake breakfast starting at 8:30 a.m. followed by more ball hockey and sno-pitch as well as other indoor and outdoor kids and adults games, all at the community hall.On the last day of Winterfest, Sunday, those brave enough to endure the cold water will join the polar dip which goes at 12:30 p.m. Following that is a Try-athlon featuring ski, snowshoes, and ‘dog’ races.“We don’t call it a polar swim, it’s a polar dip,” said Auge. “You don’t have to swim, you just have to get wet. It’s by the creek. The creek is still open and accessible to the welcome centre.”The Try-athlon is open to anyone, said Auge. “We will have some cross country skis and snowshoes available, but, of course, if people have their own equipment that would be ideal. It’ll just be in the park behind the welcome centre.”Auge said the association will be holding a draw after each event as well as at the end on Sunday for everyone who has participated in Winterfest. “We’re trying to get people more involved in activities,” she said. “We’ve got prizes donated from local businesses that will go to the winners.”Auge said the event is sure to be a lot of fun.“It’s just a great opportunity to participate in the community and have fun together,” she said. “Last year we had almost perfect weather and I’d say we had about 75 per cent of the population of Christina Lake. Hopefully, this year we’ll get even more participation with everyone. You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to come out and have fun.”