The world’s largest winter carnival is the annual Quebec Winter Carnival, in the heart of Old Quebec. It is 17 days of fun in the snow, from January 28 to February 13, 2011.
The daily schedule of festivities includes parades, fireworks, slide runs, a giant foot ball game, concerts, snow sculptures, horse-drawn sleigh rides, dogsled rides, an Ice Tower, ice skating, ice fishing, and fun and games for children.
Everything 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. The craziest activity at the Quebec Winter Carnival is the snow bath, in which a 100 or so party hearty participants strip down to their bathing suits and roll around in the snow. Of course, snowball fights have been known to erupt.
Quebec City is one of the most beautiful cities in North America, a taste of Europe on the East Coast. Its skyline is dominated by the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, a historic, castle-like wonder. The entire Fairmont chain, you should know, is an industry leader in green hotel initiatives, including recycling kitchen grease for bio-diesel.