WinterPLAY = hockey, talent and fun for everyone



Fort McMurray, AB – No play on words here or mistyped font either. Winter in the Reginal Municipality of Wood Buffalo is all about PLAY. February 22 – 24 will be the big WinterPLAY celebration at Snye Park in Fort McMurray. And as usual, the days will be filled with the magic of winter.

This annual event just gets better every year and you’re invited to come and participate in the winter-themed activities or watch the demonstrations by world-renowned ice carvers. Play in the icy playground and slide down a frozen snow chute. Pet the sled dogs or maybe go for a rip around the dogsled course. Hey, speaking of petting, there is a petting zoo too.

Visit Fort McMurray this winter. Head to the Fort McMurray Tourism website and start planning.

“Every year we try something new and this year we are happy to have a petting zoo join our celebration,” says Roxanne Andras, coordinator, Recreation and Culture for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Photo: WinterPLAY festival

“There will be lots of entertainment provided by local talent – beyond the talent competition,” adds Andras. “And, the local snowmobile club, the Snowdrifters, will be hosting its annual wiener roast at a giant bonfire on the ice again.”

Read about Seekers' writer Lisa Monforton's WinterPLAY experience.

Are you hungry for more than just a weenie-roast? Don’t worry, there will be plenty of food vendors offering everything from hearty chilli and pulled pork sandwiches to fair favourites like cotton candy and mini donuts.

Fort Mac’s got talent

Watch WinterPLAY on YouTube.

Have you polished your dance moves or mastered that aria? Maybe your dog can do amazing tricks. Sign up for the Talent Show and win prizes, plus bragging rights for an entire year. All the talent show competitions will take place in the Entertainment Tent. Be sure to pop in and cheer on someone who just might make it to the big times. Ya never know.

Pond Hockey has a history at Fort Mac

Photo: WinterPLAY festival

Whoa, here’s a bit of nostalgia for the pond hockey participants. Did you know that hockey has been played on the frozen lakes and rivers around town since the 1930s. Back in the “OLD” days, teams from Fort McMurray and the village of Waterways would hold an annual tournament to win the Fairbairn Cup. Now, with Waterway a part of the community, it’s “GAME ON” for all teams who want to enter the annual Shootout on the Snye Four-on-Four Pond Hockey Tournament on the Clearwater River. Sign up your team in age divisions starting at age 5.

Look up! Is it fireworks or Northern Lights?

Photo: WinterPLAY festival

Fireworks are always a big hit – especially with a dark northern sky. Make sure you are at Snye Park on Sunday night for the big and brilliant finale.

Not part of WInterPLAY, but a big part of the winter experience is the opportunity to see the spectacular evening display of Aurora Borealis – or that lovely ripple of Northern Lights as some of us call the sky’s night dance. Check out the Fort McMurray Tourism website to find out where you can toss down a blanket and watch the night sky.

The schedule will be posted on the official website here. Check often for updates.

When You Go

Watch Sliding through one of the World’s biggest forests in Fort McMurray #SkiNorthAB on YouTube.

Head to the official WinterPLAY website  for more information.

Read more about WinterPLAY on our festival overview

Looking for more fun things to do while visiting Fort McMurray? Head to the Fort McMurray Tourism website and get some ideas.

Find out more about Fort McMurray on SnowSeekers.

Learn more about what Northern Alberta has in store for you this winter visiting our #SkiNorthAB page, where more stories and videos will be coming out all season long.

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