Winter Carnival Celebrates 50 years

50 Years!

McCall’s beauty and magic comes from a million and one sources, but one source that is close to everyone’s heart is the Winter Carnival. This is an exciting time to be in McCall and this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of our favorite wintertime party. Although the event was born in 1924 with the first Payette Lake Winter Games, Winter Carnival as we know it was reincarnated in 1965 and we haven’t stopped living it up since!

If you’ve never been to McCall during Winter Carnival there are many reasons to join us anytime during Jan. 30-Feb. 8. If you have been before, than you know how much fun it is. Here are some of our favorite things to do over the 10 days of Winter Carnival, including some local tips to help you enjoy it even more.

1. Friday, Jan 30 kicks of the Carnival with a torchlight parade, live music and fireworks downtown. The air of festivity is not to be missed, especially for the kids who get to walk the short distance through town all lit up with glow sticks and hot chocolatey faces. *Locals tip: Bring sleds for some extra fun sledding by the lake.

2. We never miss the Mardi Gras Parade (Saturday, Jan. 31) to stock up on our bead collection and get our candy fix. This is down home parade fun and a great time to see the community come together to showcase what our town is about. *Locals tip: Arrive downtown early to find parking and get a great viewing spot. And if parade’s aren’t your thing, this is a great time to be at Brundage for some uncrowded skiing.

3. Some of the best Winter Carnival events happen mid-week with Rupert’s Winemakers’ Dinners and our local education foundation’s Chocolate and Spirits Tasting at Shore Lodge. Plus, being here mid-week means viewing the snow sculptures throughout town with no crowds as well as pretty much having the ski resorts or nordic trails all to yourself. *Locals tip: Make reservations for the Winemaker’s Dinners early as they sell out fast.

4. The second weekend of Winter Carnival is just as fun as the first with Friday nights McCall Starz on Ice show featuring international ice skating sensations and lots of local talent. *Locals tip: Grab a quick, easy dinner at TJ’s Cafe inside the ice rink just before the show.

5. Don’t forget to check out the snow sculptures! These beauties have put us on the map. *Locals tip: Go mid-week to avoid the crowds.

6. Always a sucker for winter fireworks and live music, we never miss the Closing Ceremonies either. *Locals tip: Another good excuse to meet up with friends at the Beer Garden for one last night of festivities.

In addition to our faves listed above, there are many other things to do to, from snowmobile fun runs to lift-served tubing, crafts fairs and snowshoe tours to snow-bike races and snowshoe golf, monster dog pulls and hairy leg contests to local play productions and polar plunges. And the list goes on. Click here to see the entire event schedule (pdf version). From families to retirees to 20 somethings, you will love your time at the McCall Winter Carnival!

And while you are here feel free to contact me to view available properties for sale. McCall is a great community in which to make your home, or to have a getaway cabin. See you this weekend!