What was then called the Waskimo Winter Festival began in 1975. Local radio stations and other media outlets were the driving force behind its formation, as was the Wascana Centre Authority, a key player in making the popular annual festival possible. Large crowds would gather to skate on the ice of Wascana Lake and take part in popular events like the Penguin Dip, dog sled races, outhouse races, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tobogganing.
The largest part of Wascana Lake would be cleared for the event around Willow Island and the Legislative Building. Over the years many different events came and went including snowmobile races, motorcycle racing on ice, the Waskimo Fun Run and a huge bonfire of old Christmas trees to help provide some warmth. City buses would park on the ice to serve as warm-up shelters and often there would be tethered hot air balloon rides, ice sailing and ice sculpture competitions.
Meet Wendy and Willy
Costumed mascots Wendy and Willy have been the official ambassadors of the festival since the 1970s. Again this year they will be out and about both days. Be sure to watch for them and grab an Instagram moment with the kids!
The Wascana Winter Festival is made possible by the hard work of many volunteers and community leaders. A special thank you to our corporate sponsors and partners for their annual support.
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