Friday, November 29, 2013

The 2014 McCall Winter Carnival


The very first McCall Winter Carnival was held in 1924 and called the Payette Lakes Sports Carnival. The folks who put it together did so as a way to bust up the long, cold, grey days of winter with a little bit of fun: ski races, ski jumping contests, skijoring (look that one up), dog sled races, snow shoveling contests, and more.

You know you've got the winter blues if you're making up a contest out of snow shoveling.

Anyway, this first McCall Winter Carnival lasted three days and brought the biggest train load of folks up from Boise to ever hit McCall: 248 passengers including the then governor of Idaho, C. Moore.

So you could say that first McCall Winter Carnival was a success (and that the rest of Idaho must've been feeling the winter blues, too). So much of a succes that, here it is 90 years later, and they're celebrating the 49th annual McCall Winter Carnival (they've apparently had a few annual breaks, too, here and there in between winter carnivals, assuming my math is correct).

Nowadays, the McCall Winter Carnival lasts a whole ten days and has expanded to encompass all things wintery: fireworks, a Mardi Gras Parade, the Lobster Feed, lots of live bands, Bull and Bronco riding, Bingo Nights, the Beer Garden ... um, well: okay - maybe a lot of the things at the McCall Winter Carnival are those that folks would *rather* be doing than shoveling snow or watching the ice on Lake Payette break up. Still, there's the snow sculptures.

Oh, yeah - it wouldn't be the McCall Winter Carnival without the snow sculptures!

Visitors come from all over to see the spectacular range of fanciful and fantastic snow sculptures created for the McCall Winter Carnival. Snow sculptures of all sorts and sizes - some over 20 feet tall! - rise out of the snow seemingly overnight and as if by magic. These stunningly beautiful, frozen creations are carved out of the snow to wide media recognition and some of the teams go on to compete in international events.

So don't hesitate. Get your calendar in order and make your way to our neck of the woods come carnival time, or miss out on one of the greatest events to hit winter-time Idaho since skijoring!

And say, while you're here, don't be a fool and find yourself booked into one of those hotel motel places, either. Check out a locally owned and operated Idaho bed and breakfast for real people, personal service, killer amenities, and hot, homemade breakfasts. You'll thank me for bringing it up, guaranteed.

The 2014 McCall Winter Carnival

Jan 24 - Feb 2, 2014
For a full schedule of events times, an more details, be sure to visit

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