Have you ever kissed a frozen fish? I haven’t, but I have been in a frozen fish throwing contest! That’s a sentence I never thought I’d write in my life. But, since moving to Manitoba it seems I’ve had a lot of opportunities to do crazy things I’d never imagined (like eat brunch perched on the frozen river.)
Winter is almost over! Today we officially went onto daylight savings. In a few weeks it will be the first day of spring. And one of these days, I know I will look up and watch as the geese slowly soar into the city.
With our gutters rushing, grass poking up beneath the snow, and the ditches melting into pools, it seemed appropriate to celebrate the warm weather with a trip up to Gimli for the annual Gimli Ice Festival.
Gimli is probably most famous for its Icelandic Festival over the August long-weekend, Islendingadagurinn. This is the only time of the year that it’s socially acceptable to dress up as a viking and walk through the streets half blasted, while scoffing down mini-doughnuts. Obviously I’m a fan.
The Gimli Ice Festival is much smaller and low-key than Icelandic Fest. But, they do have some crazy activities that I don’t think you can find anywhere else in the world. Have you ever seen car racing on a frozen lake? Check, I have.
I can now say that I have also watched kids carve sculptures out of ice blocks, adults play curling with chickens and people queue for the chance to putt a golf ball around the frozen harbour.
And, of course, it wouldn’t a festival without a bit of fish tossing. The lady was even nice enough to let me toss two (my accent has its advantages.) I was offered a third attempt at the target if I would kiss a fish. No thanks, holding them was quite enough for me.
As exciting as it is that spring is almost here, it also means our days of winter activities are now numbered. If the temperatures continue to rise like this, the snow should be gone within the next few weeks (yes, I am an optimist.) Before we know it, the river trail will be closed and ice will start breaking up.
So on Sunday we strapped on snow shoes for what will (hopefully) be our last walk in the snow for the year.
Five minutes into our walk and we had already ditched our gloves and toques. The dogs bounded down the trail ahead of us, their barks the only noise breaking the silence of the woods.
Winter, as always, it’s been real. We may still have two weeks until spring, but sunshine and temperatures above zero are good enough for me.