While a festival seems most suitable for summer temperatures, many cities across the globe host festivals in Winter.  Quebec City has a winter carnival (complete with camping - oh my!), Harbin, China has a snow and ice festival, and they celebrate Winterlude in Ottawa, Ontario.  Luckily, here in Fort Wayne, we don't have to sit Winter out either - we have Winterval!  Winterval, Fort Wayne's celebration of winter, is back for its fifth year on January 30, from 10 am-4 pm.


Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation has planned a varied line-up of events.  Ice carving demonstrations, a rugby game, a dinosaur display at the Botanical Gardens, events at the main library and Science Central,  a re-enactment of a 1756 French Garrison at The Old Fort, carriage rides at the Community Center, a figure skating exhibition at Headwaters Park, and much more.

I took my son and my nephew to Winterval last year; we enjoyed all the events we attended, but, the best part was the ice carving.  Imagine a guy with a chainsaw staring down a 300 lb. block of ice.  Now imagine ice shavings from the saw flying about and the transformation of an ice rectangle into a detailed sculpture.  It was a unique sight.  And we weren't the only ones impressed - watching the man work his craft was mesmerizing for the whole crowd. 

We also played games at the Community Center (ice fishing, anyone?), and paid a visit to the Old Fort, which gets some of the best re-enactors for its demonstrations.  And while all the events are popular, according to the Parks Department, the winter carnival is one of the most well-attended events because, "It's free and a fun way for kids to burn off excess energy, and it comes at a time when everyone is starting to feel those winter blahs."

Too, you don't have to wait until January 30th to get in on the Winterval fun - there will be a penguin hunt in the days leading up to the event.  Check www.majic951.com for clues on where the penguin is hiding that day.  Once you find the penguin, take a picture, and upload it to Facebook.  You will be entered into the daily prize drawing.

Don't stay home all winter.  Get outdoors, be active, and come to Fort Wayne's Winter party.


Winterval Ice Carving