The Snowking’s Winter Festival has officially started and will be running until Mar. 27.

“We’re enjoying the sunshine, we’re enjoying the mild weather and we’re going to be out here all of March,” said Carsten Schneider, one of the attendees of the festival.

“We’re super excited to see the castle back again to get outside and see everybody coming together,” echoed Kate Breen.

The Snow King — known the rest of the year as Anthony Foliot — headed the official opening of the festival, thanking each visitor as they crossed the threshold into the castle.

The eager crowd gathers outside of the Snowking’s Winter Festival snow castle on Mar. 1 at 12 in the afternoon for the official door cutting. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

The eager crowd gathers outside of the Snowking’s Winter Festival snow castle on Mar. 1 at 12 in the afternoon for the official door cutting. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

Foliot s thrilled to have folks turn up for another year, with the opening parade of youngsters holding a special place in his heart during the opening ceremony.

“Those are Castle rats, they live here,” he said. “Most of my crew has got kids and those little kids are here like every afternoon; “Daddy, can we try out the slide?” or ‘Grandpa, can we do the slide’ or whatever.”

“When they come around with the flags and they’re doing that kind of step, that that’s so cute, you know,” he continued.

The Snowking, Anthony Foliot, getting some assistance as the door to the snow castle comes crashing down. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

Regarding Foliot’s feelings on 27 years of running the festival, he kept it plain and simple.

“We’re still kind of like grassroots, cheesy and small,” he said. “But it’s big.”

Coming attractions to the festival will include the snow sculpting competition, which begins Mar. 5 and wraps on Mar. 13, as well, as the Famous Reverse Raffle, with the winner being declared on Mar. 27 (the last day of the festival).

However, according to Bill Braden (also known as FreezeFrame), President of Snowking’s Festival Society, due to Covid, events will be few and far in between this year.

Foliot shook the hands of the initial entrants who made their way into the snow castle, saying ‘welcome’ to one and all. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

“We have no major actual performances, but we have been scouring the town for folks who are ready to do a little bit of show and tell on an outdoor stage, if you will,” he said.

Braden says to keep your eyes on the website for said acts.

Kate Breen and her son, Peregrine, going down the ice slide. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

Daily admission is as follows for the festival; $10 for adults, $5 for kids six to 15 years, kids under 6 free, and family of four or more $5 each. A season pass is available for purchase ($75 for adults, $40 for kids six to 15 years, and Family Passes are $150).

Moving forward, with pandemic restrictions coming to a close, Foliot says that this will “probably be the last year that we have such a humongous yard,” as they hope to get back to Snowking’s Hall.

Families watch on as kids were sliding around on the ice slide inside the snow castle. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

“God willing we’ll be able to, next year, go back to having the big dance hall, because that’s the thing that we bring the live bands up from Southern climes and stuff like that,” he said.

A group of kids were some of the first on scene, waiting for the doors to finally open. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

“It’s a world class music festival too right, like it doesn’t look like much but this is like a couple of $100,000 festival going on and after 27 years, you got the credibility that the bands say; “Oh, yeah, you haven’t played ‘till you played Snowking’s Hall.”

The ice slide was the main attraction for many who came out to enjoy in the festivities. There was also a visitors centre, a smaller scale walkthrough castle, and several paintings as well as old memorabilia on display. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

Snowking had his hands, and saw, up in the air like he just didn’t care as the crowd cheered for the snow castles opening. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

Lodged in the icy snow were clippings of articles going through the years in celebration the festival’s 27 year anniversary. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

Yellowknives Dene Drummers were on scene to provide some musical entertainment at the Snowking’s Winter Festival. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

The Snowking, Anthony Foilot, says that despite being a ‘small and cheesy’ grassroots organization, the festival is still big for him. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

Leave a comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.