Celebrating winter, Ottawa’s annual winter festival Winterlude kicked off this past weekend with great success.  The festival, dating back to the late 1970’s is one of our city’s most popular tourist draws, bringing in hundreds of thousands of tourists to the Ottawa area year after year.

Centered on the world famous Rideau Canal, this year’s festival promises to be better than the rest with new attractions added to the already stellar lineup from years past.  Now that we are officially settled in our new nest down on Preston Street, in the heart of Ottawa, we thought we would compile some of the exciting activities happening in our beautiful city over the next couple of weeks.

New for 2017

The 2017 edition of Winterlude shouldn’t disappoint as a few new activities and events have been added to this year’s schedule.  In addition to the stunning ice sculptures typical of the festival, the snow maze that’s a staple of Jacques-Cartier Park’s Snowflake Kingdom will now feature a “mega-maze” in celebration of Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday.

Additionally, Acrobats from Quebec’s Haut-Vol Productions will be performing on the weekends in Jacques-Cartier Park and 100 blocks of ice will be carved into a tribute to those who fought in the battle of Vimy Ridge and to all Canadian veterans in Confederation Park.

What’s Happening on and Around Preston Street

Ice Dragon Boat Festival

Taking a winterized-spin on one of Ottawa’s most popular summer festivals is this year’s inaugural Ice Dragon Boat Festival which will see traditional oars replaced with spike-laden paddles to maneuver the ice boat down the Rideau Canal at nearby Dow’s Lake.

ice-dragon-boats

Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides

One thing we love about being down on Preston Street in Ottawa is the hustle and bustle of the city’s scene.  As with many other events, Preston Street is always involved in some fun way to make events that much more enjoyable, and Winterlude is no exception.

With that in mind, horse-drawn carriage rides will be in operation, traveling from Dows Lake down to Plant Bath and back again throughout the festival.    Rides will be running February 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20.

Pre or Apres Skate

With endless amounts of shops, restaurants, and bars, Preston Street is the perfect location for festival goers to enjoy a cold drink, hot chocolate or to simply take a stroll or shop in the area’s many boutique retailers.

As a Preston street retailer, we certainly are looking forward to seeing some new and familiar faces over the coming weeks.  If you are in the area, be sure to swing by and say hello!