Rossland Winter Carnival 2024: will we have (enough) snow?

City of Rossland
By City of Rossland
January 4th, 2024

Rossland Winter Carnival 2024 is fast approaching, with the event scheduled in Rossland January 26 – 28.

The Rossland Winter Carnival Society Board of Directors have exciting news…. The Sonny Samuelson Bobsled Race is back!  The Committee has had a busy off-season working hard to obtain event insurance so the Bobsled event can return, in addition to other historical Carnival events!

However, as planning progresses, the lack of snow is causing some concerns for both Rossland Winter Carnival event organizers and City staff.

The event is hosted by the Rossland Winter Carnival Society Board of Directors, a dedicated board of volunteers who work to coordinate all the activities that take place throughout town that weekend, with the support of key partners and event committee volunteers.

The Committee works directly with City ofRossland staff, as many events take place on City land.  In addition, City staff help with some logistics, specifically building the Bobsled track on Spokane Street and dropping snow for the Rail Jam event and Ice bar on Queen Street. This year, low snow fall is causing some concern that there may not be enough to gather to safely form the Bobsled track and to dump for the Rail Jam course.

City staff have met with Rossland Winter Carnival Board representatives to form a plan of action. The City has started to stock pile as much snow as possible, but over a meter more still needs to accumulate in order to run these two events safely. For the Bobsled event, enough snow is needed to build snow walls on either side of the track in addition to the course itself. The Rail Jam event requires snow to build up the features for competitors.

Historically, the Ice Bar has used snow to build walls surrounding the event space, carved sculptures at the entry and features a bar build and carved entirely out of ice.  Other options are being considered, like shorter Bobsled and Rail Jam courses and using metal gates at the Ice Bar to free up snow to be used for the other events.

A collective of City staff, Rossland Winter Carnival Board members and Carnival event organizers are monitoring the snow accumulation levels and will collectively make a decision on both the Rail Jam and Bobsled events on January 19.

All other planned events, including Blizzard Fest, are currently  proceeding as usual. A full Carnival schedule will be posted at www.rosslandwintercarnival.com shortly.
The Bobsled event has been cancelled a few times in past years due to lack of snow or unsafe racing conditions, the last time in 2020. The event has not run since then due to COVID restrictions and barriers to obtaining event insurance. This year, the Society worked hard to obtain insurance and volunteers are standing by ready to go! However, mother nature may have other ideas.

Rossland Winter Carnival volunteers and City staff appreciate and share the enthusiasm of the community and encourage patience and snow dances while we wait and see what the forecast has in mind.

How can you support?
Please watch social media and the Carnival website for plenty of volunteer opportunities to make this Carnival a reality! The capacity of the Committee is limited, so we need everyone’s support! Stay tuned for sign up details.

Categories: General

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