HANTSPORT, N.S. — The steadfast organizer behind Hantsport’s biggest winter event is eager to see just how large they can construct this year’s igloo – and he’s hopeful the community will rally behind the feel-good cause.
Paul Morton, who has been organizing the widely popular Hantsport Winter Carnival since reviving it back in 2014, says it generally takes 800 to 1,000 blocks of ice to make the igloo.
While he doesn’t have a goal in mind, Morton said he’s hoping citizens will take an interest in the lighted igloo that the volunteers create each year to kick off the festival and help freeze the bricks.
“It’s just a two-litre milk or juice container filled up full with water with a couple of drops of food colouring in it,” said Morton, noting how easy it is to participate in the effort.
The more people who can contribute, the better, he said.
“It’s hard because people need freezer space but they’re no good to us if they’re not frozen,” he added.
The plan is for volunteers to construct the ice sculpture on Jan. 20, starting at 9 a.m. The light will be turned on around 6:30 p.m. to officially open the festival.
The winter carnival runs from Jan. 24 to 27, with the majority of activities being free of charge.
If you go
What: 6th Annual Hantsport Winter Carnival
Where: Various locations in Hantsport
When: Jan. 24-27, various times
Cost: Most activities are free, some charge a modest fee
Details: To get involved, volunteer or find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 902-684-9415.
Morton says it’s the ideal way to get outdoors during the winter for some family fun.
“It’s family-oriented and there’s a lot of fun stuff to do, and it’s mostly free, which doesn’t happen very often,” said Morton.
“It’s a good way to get out and get a bit of exercise on the weekend.”
The event draws thousands to the community known as the Haven of Hospitality. Morton said people come from across the Valley, Hants County, Halifax and they even have some out-of-province visitors.
“We’ve still got the laser tag going Thursday night and Sunday because that was a big hit last year. We’ve got the fireworks and the kids’ dance. It’s a big line up again.”
While most of the events are returning for 2019, Morton said this year they are offering something new: a coffeehouse show from 4-6 p.m. Jan. 26 at School Street Studio Glass.
“It’s open for all ages. It’s local talent, singers,” said Morton, noting the up-and-coming Feedback Monkeys will be headlining. The event is by donation.
And back by popular demand is the casino night, which will be held at Churchill House from 8:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. on Jan. 26.
“We brought that back because people were asking for it,” he said.
And they’ve updated the scavenger hunt, which will now include clues found throughout the community instead of solely on HMCC grounds. The hunt is from 2-4 p.m. on Jan. 26.
“If you’re 12 and under you need to be accompanied by an adult because you need to leave the premises and walk around to find the clues,” said Morton.
Another highlight is going to be the winter snow fort or sculpture contest. It’s open to all Nova Scotia residents. Morton said they’re hoping for plenty of snow leading up to the carnival, so people can get outside, play in the snow, build something to photograph and submit it for judging. The deadline is Jan. 25 at midnight. Prizes will be drawn for on Jan. 26.
“We got people from down Walton last year sending me pictures. From all over. It doesn’t matter to me where you’re from as long as you get out and do something,” said Morton.
And that’s why he revived the festival — to give people something to do in the middle of the winter that’s fun and active.
• Hantsport Winter Carnival igloo building party at HMCC grounds. Start time 9 a.m.; lights on at 6:30 p.m. *Free
• Games and crafts at the Isabel and Roy Jodrey Memorial Library from 6 –7:30 p.m. There will also be Cupcakes by Korri. *Free
• Laser tag on HMCC grounds takes place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. All ages welcome with adult accompaniment. *Free, but a drivers’ license or cash deposit required for use of laser tag guns
• Basketball tournament at the Hantsport School starting at 2 p.m. *Freewill offering
• Kids dance at the Hantsport Baptist Church from 6-8:30 p.m. All ages welcome. *Free
• Pancake breakfast at Churchill House from 7:30-10:30 a.m. *Admission fee charged
• All day basketball tournament at the Hantsport School. *Freewill offering
• Judging of the snowman/snow fort competition will be at 10:30 a.m. Register by submitting a photo with a name and contact info by midnight Jan. 25 to email@example.com. Winners to be announced during the chili lunch. *Free
• Legopalooza and board games at the Isabel and Roy Jodrey Memorial Library from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. This activity is intended for children ages five years and up. *Free
• Chili lunch at Hantsport School, in support of the Hantsport Home & School Association, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. *Admission fee charged
• Around the town family scavenger hunt starts at HMCC. Adult accompaniment required for children under 12 years of age. The event runs from 2-4 p.m. *Free
• An escape room will be held at the Isabel & Roy Jodrey Memorial Library from 3-4 p.m. Intended for ages 12 years and up. Pre-registration is required by contacting the library. *Free
• Coffeehouse show at School Street Studio Glass from 4-6 p.m. This is open to all ages and features young local talent. The headliners will be the Feedback Monkeys. This is sponsored by School Street Studio Glass and Moe’s Music. *Freewill offering collected at the door for the artist
• Bonfire with hot dogs and hot chocolate at HMCC grounds at 6 p.m. *Free
• There will be fireworks on HMCC grounds at 7 p.m. This is sponsored by Glooscap First Nation. *Free
• Casino night at Churchill House takes place from 8:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. Bring a food bank donation for additional casino money. *Admission fee charged
• Laser tag on HMCC grounds takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All ages welcome with adult accompaniment. *Free, but a drivers’ license or cash deposit required for use of laser tag guns
• Chocolate bar bingo at Churchill House at 2:30 p.m. *Free