EDMONTON- Despite a bitterly cold start to the weekend, thousands of people ditched the comforts of the couch to check out the Deep Freeze Byzantine Festival.
“Saturday was very cold and we had tons of people it was amazing,” said Allison Argy-Burgess, the festival producer. It’s estimated between 10 and 15 thousand people headed out into the bitter cold to enjoy the winter fun.
The festival takes place along 118 Avenue between 90-94 Streets. It features an ice slide, snow and ice carvings as well as a hot dog and marshmallow roast. There’s also ice skating and the Festival’s signature ‘deep freezer races’ in which teams push and slide an empty old freezer along the street.
Deep freezer races Global News
Deep freezer races
“It’s been a fantastic year better than we ever expected,” said Argy-Burgess, adding the kitchen sold out of poutine on Francophone-themed Sunday. While the final numbers are still being added up, organizers expect this year’s attendance to be a record breaker.
“Every year we listen to the community, we listen to Edmontonians. What they want to see, what could be better and it just grows naturally,” says Christy Morin, the festival’s artistic director. “People just want to be part of the festival.”
This year the festival expanded it’s program to include a day of delicious Ukrainian food and dancing on Saturday and a Francophone-themed day on Sunday.
All the fun is free but a $10 donation is appreciated. Donations have kept the festival growing and going for nine years now.
“I’m excited because I think people are getting how much fun you can have at a winter festival. It’s just wonderful,” said Argy-Burgess.
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