The New Bothwell Winter Carnival is a-go for this coming weekend.
Irma Friesen, LUD member for Bothwell sits on the recreation board for the community, says despite the mild temperatures this week, the event will go ahead as planned.
Organizing the event has only been in the works since December. And because of the fall election, Friesen says they’ve got a fairly new group making sure everything comes together. She says, for that reason they have kept things the same as in previous years, with a Crib Tournament Friday night, followed by a full day of activities.
"Saturday morning, we start off with a pancake breakfast from 8:30am to 10:30am. It's ham and pancakes. It's by donation. Our canteen runs all day. We're having hamburgers, hot dogs, farmer burgers, borscht and a bun, and then just your regular chips and drinks.”
Friesen adds they also have a coloring contest, which is open to all ages. “I'm always jealous that some of the men, how wonderful they can colour, and shading, it looks amazing. We have bingo in the afternoon and then at 5pm, we have our scrambles.”
Friesen explains that scrambles have been part of the winter carnival for as long as she can remember and are quite popular. “It has probably been part of things for 40 plus years. We start off with a grocery scramble. You know, all the women on the ice, then they run to do their Saturday night grocery shopping.” Friesen says with a smile and continues.
“We also have a candy scramble for the kids and then, you know, for those teenagers that don't want to scramble for candies and aren't old enough for groceries, we do a money scramble. We put the toonies and loonies on the ice and cover them with a bit of snow and away they go.”
When it comes to activities on their new covered outdoor rink, she says depending on the temperature on Saturday, they may have to change the hockey tournament into a broomball game. But Friesen says, "We played broomball for many years, and now it's kind of turned into hockey, and that's alright too because there's those guys that just love to play their Saturday tournament.”
Friesen says having the roof over the outdoor rink is a good thing because it has really saved the ice from the sun this week, but “this roof in a normal winter is going to be amazing.”
She says this winter carnival really brings the residents of New Bothwell together. “I love to see how they come for lunch, sit down with a neighbor, a friend, maybe somebody new in the community and have a good visit. Just chat about life in general. Things haven’t really come back to the way it was before COVID. Things have changed. It’s becoming harder and harder to get volunteers every year. I'm not sure why, because this is their community, let’s get involved and make it work, and get to know each other. So we hope that more new people will come out.”
Friesen says the weekend will wrap up Saturday night with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new roof they had recently installed over their outdoor rink.
“It’s been really amazing for the community to get two huge grants back-to-back like we had. Last year we got a brand-new ice surface and boards, and this year we have a roof, so we are feeling very, very fortunate and very loved by all the grant money that we have received to make this possible.”
Friesen extends her invitation to join them at their Winter Carnival. “It's open to anybody. Come and enjoy a hot bowl of soup and a bun and a chat and enjoy the day with us and we hope to see you there.”