Celebrate Winter

lifestyle magazine online london

"Goderich hosts outdoor event"

When cabin fever and February blahs set in, load the whole gang into the car and head to Goderich for Winterfest, held from February 2 to 4 this year.

Now in its third iteration, events for hikers and hungry people take place at various locations around town, including a chili cook-off, a candlelight walk at the Maitland Woods, and a fireworks display at Ag Park.

The weekend’s festivities include a celebration of the white stuff with the ICEtacular. This event takes place in Canada’s prettiest town’s downtown and includes an ice carving competition called Battle of the Chainsaws. Thrill seekers will love the 40-foot ice slide, while others will delight in playing air hockey on the icy table or a good game of life-size ice tic-tac-toe. Creative types can do some ice painting or enjoy the live entertainment. All activities are free.

The town’s mayor, Kevin Morrison, especially enjoys the tradition of having someone else take his place as the opening rider on the ice slide. “I swear in a five-year-old as mayor to slide down in my place,” Morrison says. “It’s always a lot of fun.”

All winter long, outdoor fun doesn’t end at village’s borders. Goderich sits at the confluence of snowmobiling trails that connect to virtually every other community in the area. The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile clubs has a map at http:// trails.evouala.com/ofsc/.

Getting active and enjoying the crisp, cold sunshine is a pleasure in Huron County. The G2G Trail, following an old rail line between Goderich and Guelph, offers cross-country skiing opportunities. Find the trail map at www.g2grailtrail.com.

To fuel up for your day of active, outdoor fun, start with an unforgettable breakfast at Pat and Kevin’s on the Square. Try the most popular dishes on the menu: eggs benedict or a delicious Montreal smoked meat platter or the western omelette. On the weekends and holiday Mondays, the breakfast buffet draws crowds to the restaurant. Everything is fresh and homemade by Pat Foster and served with a side of acerbic humour by Kevin Morrison (who is also the town’s mayor).

Most of the village’s lodgings are booked in advance on festival weekend, but it’s a great day trip from London and other parts of southwestern Ontario anytime.

“This event is starting to make Goderich a year-round destination,” says Morrison. “It’s a huge success, attracting as many people as an August weekend.”