Already the time has come for the citizens of Yellowknife to venture down to Great Slave Lake to experience the best of winter.

They come by truck, by car, snowmobile, skis, and snowshoes and all end up in the courtyard of the Snowcastle.

The Snow Castle is quiet now, but it won’t be for long as the 23rd annual Snowking’s Winter Festival opens tomorrow at noon, running through March 30. photo courtesy of Snowking’s Winter Festival

“Look, they say, there’s the guy who built this castle,” and they point to me.

In a sense they are right, sure I’m a big part of it, but actually, this castle is the combined effort of many, many mitted hands. The tremendous task of keeping all those mitts focused on the end product used to fall on my shoulders, however, this year our own Baron von Blizzard (Byron Fitzky), veteran of many builds, has held the helm and he built the castle. This is a rite of passage, and now he is a king.

As a group, we now have four “kings”: Joe Snow, Avalanche Kid, Baron von Blizzard and myself.

I’m very proud of the work our talented crew has managed to complete in the past two months. From the organizing of our fourth annual international snow sculpting competition (major kudos to Snowdrift Dave), to the beautiful carving on the walls and around the windows, everything is frostily awesome. The ice architecture inside the castle walls will amaze you.

We strive to meet all the safety requirements set forth by the ever cautious office of the fire marshal, with our new emergency doors (complete with panic bars), our regulation stair treads (as set by the National building code), exit signs and fire alarms.

We take pride in our work and so do the citizens of Yellowknife; although some have a funny way of showing it (yes, I’m talking to you two guys who urinated on the wall two weeks ago, what would your mother say?).

The City of Yellowknife and the GNWT have been great this year with their tremendous support. And the local businesses who stepped up to help us are extremely appreciated.

So here you go friends. Get your snow pants on and walk, ski, or snowshoe down to the lake to join us and experience the Snowking’s Winter Festival in all its frosty splendour.

The front door will be cut at noon tomorrow and we’ll be ready for you.

We’ll see you on the ice and when you see anyone with a snowking crest you can tell your friends: ” Look, that person made the castle.”

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