The biggest winter carnival in the world is the annual Quebec Winter Carnival, in the heart of Old Quebec. This year’s three weeks of fun in the snow is from January 29 to February 14, 2010.
Three weeks of festivities at the Quebec Winter Carnival include parades, fireworks, slide runs, a giant foot ball game, concerts, snow sculptures, horse-drawn sleigh rides, dogsled rides, an Ice Tower, ice skating and ice fishing.
All of it is watched over the carnival mascot, a large white friendly snowman who seems to appear everywhere at once, named Bonhomme. He is always smiling, dressed in a red stocking cap and a colorful sash around his waist, his chest decorated with round black buttons. Of course there’s a person inside the costume, welcoming you both in French and in English, the dual languages of Quebec.
One of the most popular carnival events is a canoe race on the St. Lawrence River. Some years the river is frozen solid, and teams pull their wooden canoes over the ice instead of paddling them through the water. Another is the snow bath, in which a 100 or so hardy partyers strip to their bathing suits and roll around in the snow. Of course, snowball fights have been known to erupt.