Inspired by the inclusivity of the Dog Mushing world, this year’s Caledonia Classic Sled Dog Races will fall into the dates of a larger winter festival featuring a week of events and activities throughout the town of Fort St. James that support arts, culture, tradition and recreation.
The District of Fort St. James has initiated an expansion of this existing recreational heritage event by collaborating with community groups to co-host WINTERFEST!
We are so fortunate to have National Snow & Ice Competitive Carver, and owner of ‘Cool As Ice’ sculpting business in Nanaimo, visiting Fort St. James March 1-3 to demonstrate his skills! Grant will be completing one large 128 cubic foot block in addition to guiding local participants on the carving of two more smaller blocks on Saturday March 1st during the races. The pieces will be representational of the communities of Fort St. James and Nak’azdli. This date will also feature sleigh rides and a ‘Sugar Shack’ with local birch syrup snow sticks sponsored by Integris Credit Union; hot mulled wine and apple cider by Music on the Mountain Society and Ice Fishing by The KEY!
A whopping 60 to 80 volunteers come out each year for the Caledonia Classic Races, including students from the neighbouring UNBC tourism department. The weekend includes: 150 mile race; 4, 6 and 10 dog race; Junior Musher and Kid ‘n’ Mutt race; Politicians Race; 50 mile 7-dog race with overnight at whitefish bay; and this year for the first time ever they are going to have a 200 mile race the following weekend.
WINTERFEST doesn’t end there though. Community groups will be hosting various activities throughout the week including family dance, theatre, film, live music, skating, skiing and games! All events are supporting local non-profit organizations including Nak’azdli Youth, Health & Recreation Groups, Murray Ridge Ski Area, Fort St. James Nordic Ski Group, Music on the Mountain Society, Senior Girls Basketball, Fort St. James Speed Skating, Music Makers Theatre Group, Sled Dog Association, and Volunteer FSJ.
Please visit https://fortstjames.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=19400 for the Schedule of Events and call 996-8233 today to get involved or sponsor the festival!