A horse drawn wagon was part of Pictou’s winter carnival last year.
The Shiretown will incorporate the theme of Canada’s 150th birthday into many of its recreational events this year, beginning with the Pictou Winter Carnival this weekend.
“Throughout the coming year, Pictou is paying tribute to Canada 150 through our different events going on,” said recreation director Michelle Young.
“This is kind of a kick-off to that. It’s a really important year for us to celebrate a significant anniversary.”
To celebrate, a special Canada 150 open swim will be held at the Pictou Fisheries Pool on Friday, with participants paying $1.50. A Canada 150 colouring contest for youth and adults is also taking place, with all entries due by Friday.
Young said many of the carnival’s events involve community partners, and new to the carnival this year is the Great Canadian Kilt Skate at the Hector Arena, hosted by the McCulloch House Museum and Genealogy Centre. Participants are asked to wear a kilt or tartan if they can. Young said the Pictou skate isn’t unique, as the event takes place in communities across the country. “Don your kilt and go out on the ice and have some fun.”
Another new offering is a fishcake, beans and biscuit lunch hosted by the Northumberland Fisheries Museum. Originally scheduled for Friday, the event is now taking place on Monday due to the storm expected to arrive in the area on Friday.
The Pictou Youth Centre was organizing the Winter Carnival Challenge Cup that involved teams of five competing in a series of challenges, including a six-legged race, snow sculpture, karaoke, and curling draw to the button, however no teams signed up before the Jan. 31 deadline. Organizer David Porter said the challenge is a revival of an event that used to take place years ago, and the youth centre plans to try holding it again next year.
Along with the new activities, traditional events such as free sleigh rides, snow sculptures, snowshoeing and curling will be offered, plus a chocolate event at Pictou United Church, a glow swim at the Pictou Fisheries Pool, a pancake breakfast, a ball hockey shoot-out challenge, and Saturday events at the Pictou library with a Valentine’s theme, including family snowman building time inside the library.
The carnival takes place from Friday to Sunday.
Snow is forecast for the next few days, so Young is hopeful all outdoor activities will be able to take place. “I think it will work in our favour.”
For a full schedule of events, visit http://www.townofpictou.ca/visitors-guide/festivals-and-events/pictou-winter-carnival/