Our cold January weather can make it hard to get outside, so our family was happy to take advantage of the warmer temperatures and visit the first weekend of the 2022 Deep Freeze Fête in Borden Park. This spectacular 10 day festival is in it’s 15th year of brightening Edmonton’s long winter days & nights with festival fun!
This was our first time visiting Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête and I wasn’t sure what to expect beyond the online images I had seen featuring colorfully lit pathways and ice sculptures. We arrived at Borden Park around 4 pm and our visit started out fairly lacklustre due to it still being a lot brighter out then I expected. As we trekked through the park, I had to work hard to reassure my family that it would get more exciting as it turned dark and everything became more colorful and animated.
Luckily I was right and, as the sun set, the magic did indeed happen throughout the park! While the intricately carved ice sculptures are certainly impressive in the daylight, the colorful backlights really make them come alive against the dark sky. The evening brings a rainbow of lanterns and light projections that provide whimsy and wonder to the artwork and on the pathways.
As you make your way through the park, there are so many great lanterns and ice sculptures to discover! Just when I thought we had seen them all, we would notice another further up the path to stop and admire. The main walkways were well lit with paper bag lanterns along the ground, and many people were pulling sleds or pushing strollers over the nicely packed paths. We were also delighted to several well behaved four legged family members along for the outing!
The definite showstopper and centerpiece of the Festival is a Mammoth sized paper lantern with color changing tusks. Built from recycled materials by artist Gabs DeGouw, it looks right at home in our snowy Edmonton landscape!
The Deep Freeze Fête is proud to bring together Ukrainian, Métis, French Canadian, Inuit, and Indigenous cultures through its light installations, ice sculptures, and cultural stories. Another fun and eye catching display was a pair of knitted mittens and set of storyboards telling the Ukrainian tale of “The Mitten”. You and your family can enjoy watching the Deep Freeze original animation of the tale on YouTube before seeing this larger-then-life sized pair of mitt’s hanging in Borden Park.
Borden Park is also host site to the ever-popular Deep Freezer Races! A pair of deep freezers have been outfitted with skis, ready for the kids to hop on and be pushed in a head to head race to the finish line.
The wide pathways and outdoor setting of Borden Park made the perfect place to get out and safely enjoy some family fun. It was a fun Sunday evening escape for us and a great excuse to force everyone out to enjoy some fresh air!
The 2022 Deep Freeze Fête will be happening from January 14 to 23, weather permitting. Head to our Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête event post to learn more about the events happening at all 3 signature locations.
Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête:
When: January 14 to 23, 2022, weather permitting
Where: Various locations