Art, wine, skating, and campfires: 2016 Fredericton FROSTival lineup launches

The skating party in Officer's Square during FROSTivalDid you know that Fredericton is host to Atlantic Canada’s largest winter festival? FROSTival kicks off this weekend, and from the looks of it, 2016 is their biggest year yet!

If you’re like me and tend to consider winter more an opportunity for hibernation than fun, the idea of a winter festival can be a little difficult to get behind. Being further inland than most Maritime communities, though, Fredericton has a fair dose of winter each year and does a great job of making the most of it.

Fredericton FROSTival runs over four weekends between January 21 and February 14 in 2016, and there’s a little something for everyone:

FROSTival for the adventurous

Jan 22: Try the Moonlight Snowshoe Battleship Scavenger Hunt at Mactaquac – it’s hard to get more adventurous than a scavenger hunt after dark on snowshoes.

Feb 7: Learn to build your own snow shelter with UNB’s free course running 10am – 4pm. Winter camping sounds like an oxymoron to me, but it’s definitely adventurous.

FROSTival for couples

Feb 4: OK, now this is pretty cool – an evening of Ukranian food (will there be pirogies? I am SO in.) followed by a performance by Ukrainian “ethnic chaos” band DakhaBrakha. Tickets for the two events must be purchased separately. The dinner is at the Crowne Plaza, which is conveniently right across from the Playhouse, where the performance is.

FROSTival for the whole family

Valentine's-themed ice sculpture being created last weekend at the Fredericton Boyce Farmer's Market.

Who doesn’t love a great ice sculpture? This year, FROSTival will have them scattered throughout downtown Fredericton starting January 23 – check out the map here.

Jan 23: The Old Fashioned Skating Party is one of my favourite parts of FROSTival. Music, hot chocolate, skating in a historic setting – what’s not to love?

Jan 23: Just after the Old Fashioned Skating Party is OFF THE WALLS, an afternoon of painting and creating for young families at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. This one sounds like a lot of fun too, with music, painting, snacks and more for the kids, so if doing both activities sounds like too much, my advice is to choose this weekend’s event based on whether you’re more of an indoor or outdoor family 😉

Jan 30: Campfire singalong with Josh Bravener (a great performer!) in Officer’s Square at 5:30pm. Dress warmly!

Feb 13 & 14: and of course, the classic FROSTival event, Winterfesthiver. Read more on my blog post from the 2014 Winterfesthiver!Sleigh rides at Winterfesthiver were a hit!

FROSTival for the hibernating types

Jan 29: What better way to forget about winter than with a wine show? ‘Nuff said.

Jan 30: This is one I’ve been meaning to get to for a while – the Art Battle at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre. This is live competitive painting and you get to watch! Plus, a silent auction provides the chance to take the art home with you.

FROSTival for bookworms

Jan 23: Yes, FROSTival even has something for bookworms. Learn learn some basic book making techniques at this bookbinding class at the University of New Brunswick.

Get all the details

These, of course, are just a few highlights of what’s in store over the four weekends. Check out the full schedule on the FROSTival website, and follow Fredericton Tourism on Twitter or Facebook for all the latest updates!

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