May 30th, 2024

Inaugural YQL WinterFEST kicks off this week

By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on January 11, 2022.

Herald photo by Dale Woodard Local musician Karen Romanchuk performs at the YQL WinterFEST announcement Monday at Casa's Rotary Square. Romanchuk is one of the musicians who will perform as part of the upcoming events.

Lethbridge residents will be able to walk in a winter wonderland this week.
On the plus side, the deep freeze weather that has gripped the province has taken a hike – at least in southern Alberta – but those mild temperatures may have an effect on some of the activities as Tourism Lethbridge presents the YQL WinterFEST in downtown Lethbridge Jan. 14-19.
Nonetheless, the event will feature a bevy of fun winter activity not only boasting Lethbridge’s downtown, but supporting the businesses that make it up in a typically slow time of year.
“Our downtown is an incredible place full of historic buildings, unique shops, friendly people and some great dining,” said Stephen Braund, marketing director, Tourism Lethbridge. “We hope that by running this event we can keep the locals coming downtown. As a tourism organization, we want our downtown strong and thriving because downtowns operate as a magnet for travelers. So that’s another reason we want to run this. There are plenty of things that are going on in the city and we want to help promote those.”
Following the holiday season, Braund noted things tend to slow down in January.
“Everyone seems to be burnt out from the holidays and we want people to really embrace the winter. Last week I was worried about extreme cold. This week, we’ll see if we have snow for Saturday. But that is the glory of Lethbridge and having our mild winters.”
YQL WinterFEST 2022 is made possible with funding from the Heart of the City Re-Imagine grant and support from the Allied Arts Council, Casa and the Downtown BRZ.
The six-day event will feature an outdoor concert series at Casa, exhibitor stations for local winter experiences, snowshoeing in Galt Gardens and more. 
Along with scheduled outdoor events at Casa’s Rotary Square and Galt Gardens, YQL WinterFEST 2022 will feature “anytime activities” during the week, including ice sculpture selfie spots in front of Casa, a window painting winter walk and a scavenger hunt with hundreds of dollars in prizes.
Local cafes will also be participating in a gourmet hot chocolate contest.
On Jan. 19 there will be a surprise performer at 5 p.m. with more details to come.
“This is going to be a great, first-time event we’re having in downtown Lethbridge,” said Braund. We want to get people involved and active.”
Braund noted other upcoming events in Lethbridge, including the Winter Light Festival continuing at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, the Professional Bull Riding Canada Cup Series in February and the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier coming to the Enmax Centre in March.
“We want to use this event to celebrate all of that and really celebrate what Lethbridge has to offer in the winter.”
For more information about YQL WinterFEST and links to the events visit 

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