Québec Winter Carnival

end January to mid February
Québec, Québec (QC)

For more than 56 years, the Québec Winter Carnival has been the biggest winter festival in the world offering 17 days of fun for all the family including over 300 shows and activities, an Ice Palace, two Magical Night Parades, a 400-foot-long Ice Slide, a Day Parade, and an outdoor stage with dance and music shows every Friday and Saturday night.

The family-oriented Day Parade features about fifteen giant characters inflated with helium than dominate the downtown boulevard as they pass by in a carnival of music and entertainment.

The night parades showcase colourful floats and more than 900 musicians and other entertainers.

Leading the parades, and one of the most popular icons of the Québec Winter Carnival is Bonhomme Carnaval, a large snowman with a red cap and colourful sash, who is the Winter Carnival's guest of honour and official ambassador of the festivities.

His official residence is the Icy Palace where various event take place, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the carnival.

Another popular activity during the Winter Carnival is a ride on the zip line high above the Plains of Abraham, one of Canada’s most prestigious city parks.

Still more athletic pursuits can be found in the ice canoe racing events on the St. Lawrence River – whose tides, broken ice and winter weather is the only place in the world where it can be practiced. Originally the only means of transport and communication during winter between the two shores of the river, the heritage of canoe racing is now celebrated in three races – the Elite Masculine Class, the Elite Feminine Class and the Sports Class.

Another popular racing event during the Québec Winter Carnival is dogsled racing in which the snow covered streets of Old Québec showcase the skills of more than 30 teams over 6 km.

Promoting the historic and cultural character of Québec City, known as the world’s snow capital, and encouraging local pride, not to mention the aim for everyone to have a lot of fun, the Québec Winter Carnival has gained worldwide recognition and attracts more than 750,000 visitors each year, with 200,000 of the carnival-goers attending the Carnival’s Night Parades

The Québec Winter Carnival is ranked 3rd among the festivals admired most by Quebecers and has been listed as providing “unique and unparalleled experiences” by Fodor’s Magazine, and is included in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and has also been rated as Canada’s Best Winter Festival by Reader's Digest.

For more information about the Québec Winter Carnival visit the official web site at www.carnaval.qc.ca

Featured Top events and festivals in Québec

• Canadian Tulip Festival

• Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

• Just for Laughs

• Magic of Lanterns

• Mondial de la Bière

• Montreal Highlights Festival

• Québec Winter Carnival

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