Ice On Whyte is Edmonton’s premier winter festival and hosts the only International Ice Carving Competition in the city. This year, the competition was moved up a day so that visitors can enjoy completed sculptures both Saturday and Sunday. Instead of completing Saturday at noon, competitions on both weekends will be completed Saturday at noon.
After last year’s successful change in days of operation opening Thursdays through Sundays, the Ice On Whyte Festival returns this year with two jam packed weekends of excitement. It will be open Thursdays to Sundays from January 26-29 and February 2-5 (two 4-day weekend runs).
The 2017 festival will celebrate Canada 150, the sesquicentennial year since the Dominion of Canada was established. Visitors can sign up to decorate a tile of the Canada 150 mosiac mural which will be unveiled Canada Day in Old Strathcona. (scroll down for more)
Aside from stunning ice sculptures, Ice On Whyte has plenty to offer. There are ice slides for all ages, like our sister city of Harbin, China, which hosts the most famous ice festival in the world. In fact, a team from Edmonton finished 2nd in their ice sculpture competition this year.
Ice On Whyte also has some scheduled events. There’s the festival launch event, The Rec Room slide races, Ordinary People…Extraordinary Stories, and the popular finale fire and ice show returns. The complete schedule may be found here. Old Strathcona is also having sleigh rides, if you’re into an unconventional Park & Ride. Proceeds on the sleigh ride go to the Ronald McDonald House.
There are food trucks on site for those who are hungry and want to stay on site. However, admission to the festival gives you in and out access all day with a handstamp upon exit. There’s also a bison stew cook-off on the last Sunday of the festival.
For kids, there is the Agrium Kids Zone with a snow maze and kids slides, and plenty of kid friendly entertainment in the tent. The little chippers program for kids to practice chiseling ice carvings.
There will also be a Freeze Your Cask Off event for the adults (advanced tickets on sale), and evening entertainment including Punch Drunk Cabaret, and the Vaudeville Revue (18+).
Social media lovers will have fun too. The first Saturday of the festival will be social media day, where those who share their posts, pictures, and video using #IceOnWhyte will have chances to win many prizes.
A 360 video of last year’s Mardi Gras theme is here.
The Pirates theme in 2015 was arrrr success. Here’s a recap video which reached over 1000 views before the end of the 2015 festival We’ve also compiled videos from past years below.
The 2012 Festival was unique as it connected to the one time Heilongjiang Ice Festival at the Alberta Legislative Grounds via the High Level Streetcar.