Mack and I had great intentions to make it out to the Deep Freeze Festival on Saturday night (three words: Bailey’s Ice Bar!), but after a morning of running errands, we ended up taking it easy the rest of the day. This morning, however, we decided it was simply too beautiful outside not to take advantage of it, so off to Alberta Avenue we went.
What a difference one year makes – our first time at the festival last year saw us trudging through several feet of snow, in temperatures of –20 with windchill. This year? Clean pavement, sunny skies, and temperatures warm enough to melt the snow and ice sculptures that were on display.
Wagon rides (look at that sky!)
Of course, we weren’t complaining, and neither were the hefty crowds! There were at least double the numbers on the grounds this year, all taking advantage of our unseasonably balmy winter. We saw several people flaunting shorts, and even one man brave enough to sport flip flops!
Mack behind the soon-to-be-liquid bar
Formerly frozen x’s and o’s
I’m not sure if the organizers knew how warm it would be, but their “Surf’s Up: a Snow to Sand Winter Adventure” theme ended up being rather fitting. At the rate some of the displays were melting, we were sure they wouldn’t last another day.
Still at it (Mack liked how patrons could text in votes for their favourite sculptures)
But they did their best to manage the thaw – the ice slide had been decorated with pine trees and dressed with slabs of snow to disguise its rapidly deteriorating structure. And really, the kids didn’t seem to mind – they were having a blast! The skating and curling surfaces also seemed to hold up well, though we didn’t partake in either.
What I couldn’t resist was Vlad’s Village Pig ($7 for pork on a bun). Roasted on a spit on-site, we were lucky to end up with a fresh piece of pork, carved off the third (and final) pig. Our serving had some of the succulent meat, and quite a bit of the crispy, flavourful skin. Score!
Carving up a storm
A volunteer holds up one of the pig heads (we were told that the snout has qualities in it to prevent illness – haven’t heard that before)
Based on how packed the Community Hall was, we think this festival might be outgrowing its space – which is a good thing, because Deep Freeze is a gem that we hope more people discover. See you next year!