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December 12, 2023

Our Kootenay Winter Celebrations: Along the Powder Highway

The Kootenay folks never shy away from the wintry chill. As the rest of the world may retreat indoors, we embrace the cold and turn it into an opportunity for adventure. In this mountain paradise known as The Powder Highway, winter means breathtaking snow-covered peaks and endless possibilities. The people of the Kootenays make the most of every moment, illuminating the longer nights with their boundless energy, as we revel in our hometown winter celebrations.


In the towns across the Kootenays, you’ll find hardy outdoorsmen and women (and their children) stepping willingly into chilled air with their neighbours. Check red, hands mittened, the season is welcomed with winter carnivals, festivals and the general shenanigans the Kootenay culture is known for.  Here are a few of our Kootenay winter celebrations (by community):


46th Annual Griz Days Winter Festival – March 1-3, 2024

Celebrating 45+ years, the event offers jam-packed family activities. Some of the events planned for March includes, Griz Days Story Walk, SnowGolf at the Fernie Golf Club, Griz Days Parade, Junior Griz & Extreme Griz Competitions, Fireworks, turns at the Fernie Alpine Resort and more.

Meet “The Griz”; photo courtesy of Griz Days/Fernie’s Visitor Centre


Snow King’s Annual Masque Parade – February 10, 2024

The wild & silly creatures of the valley are delighted and very excited to welcome Snow King & Lady Spring … and all of you! … back to Spirit Square on Saturday evening February 11! These crazy creatures have all been celebrating and feasting over the holidays and now — as they do — are ready to celebrate some more!

Freeride World Tour – February 14-22, 2024

The Freeride World Tour will be back in 2023, at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, in Golden, BC. With a packed lineup of the best female and male freeriders from around the world! 


Flannel Fest – February 14-18, 2024

This family-friendly event had past attendees dress up Kootenay-style in your favourite flannel, as the best dressed “in-show” will be crowned.  Other activities include: the Shirley Rossi Backyard Snow Sculpture Contest, Kimberley’s Best Beard, Best Dressed in Flannel Pet Contest, Storefront Dress Up Contest, Flannel Arts Contest, Platzl Snow Party, Live DJs, Lazer Show & 360° Dance Floor and much more.


Kootenay Coldsmoke Powderfest – February 23-25, 2024

The festivities run throughout the weekend at Whitewater Ski Resort – with various ability levels, it is the perfect way to get into backcountry touring, work on perfecting your backcountry skills, or learn new tricks while cruising in bounds terrain with coaches and instructors. This festival is for all ability levels, and there are plenty of in-bounds workshops for both snowboarders and skiers.

Ymir Peak at Whitewater Ski Resort; photo by Doug LePage

Blast Beer Fest at Whitewater Ski Resort – March 23-24, 2024

Join them in a celebration of the extraordinary local breweries and distilleries in their region! Experience the finest local brews while indulging in our mouthwatering Whitewater pow chow at our thrilling on-the-snow beer garden. Cast your vote for the beer that steals your heart, groove to live music, and soak in the breathtaking view of Ymir Peak. Let’s make this a memorable experience together!


Natural Selection Tour – Mar 10-17, 2024

The Natural Selection Tour, where 24 of the world’s top snowboarders from throughout the sport compete in dynamic, natural venues, returns with three stages and two live events in 2023. The Tour ups the ante in its third year with head-to-head live competition in all-new Canadian and Alaskan venues and with a brand new first stage format, “duels”. Natural Selection Duels are designed to bring out riders’ creativity and highlight new zones and snowboarding’s diverse styles.  The eight men and four women to come out on top of Natural Selection Duels will converge for the Yeti Natural Selection Revelstoke based out of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

Revelstoke’s Beer Festival – April 5-6, 2024

Get ready for an epic ski trip to Revelstoke with an incredible twist! Join us on the mountain for the exhilarating Revelstoke Beer Festival, a celebration of craft beer and spirits. This two-day event offers three ticketed options, each guaranteeing an unforgettable experience. Don’t miss out on this perfect combination of adventure and indulgence. Secure your ticket now for a higher level ski experience, entry to the festival, and your very own commemorative sample mug!


Blizzard Music Festival – January 25-28, 2024

The Blizzard Music Festivals runs annually, the last weekend of January (during Winter Carnival), in Rossland BC. Serving up an eclectic mix of music for all to enjoy.

Rossland Winter Carnival – January 25-28, 2024

The Winter Carnival started in 1898, this is Canada’s longest-running winter celebration – and, according to the carnival’s present-day organizers,  how skiing got its start in Canada. This community and family-oriented activities will decorate this historical weekend, with lots of reasons and ways to celebrate — Ice sculptures, snow slides, tobogganing, skating, local business specials, and more!

Rossland Winter Carnival; photo by Kari Medig

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