Regina's Waskimo Winter Festival returns after 14-year hiatus
After a 14-year hiatus, Regina’s Waskimo Winter Festival is back.
“Regina is a winter city. We should celebrate winter in this city,” said Jim Aho, one of twenty organizers working behind the scenes to make Waskimo a reality.
“Many people spend their winters hibernating, sitting in front of their screens and their computers. We just think this is a great way to get families and friends with their dogs, their sleds and their kids out on the ice of Wascana Lake and really just enjoy the fact that we have a beautiful winter season in the city,” added Aho.
What began in 1975, Waskimo had all kinds of outdoor winter events, from ice parasailing and dog sledding to the burning of the Christmas tree and the memorable penguin dip, where people would brave the cold and jump into Wascana Lake.
The last time the event was held was 2003, before the Big Dig but despite popular demand, the winter festival never came back.
Now a local group of volunteers has come together as a non-profit organization to plan and raise the funds needed to bring back Waskimo. Through corporate and community sponsors, they have already raised $25,000. They have now launched a GoFundMe page to raise an additional $5,000.
Aho says “Waskimo 2.0” will feature indoor and outdoor activities at the Conexus Arts Centre.
“The outhouse races, we’re going to bring those back. We’re going to have dress up your dog events, we’re going to have cross country skiing and snowshoeing, a children’s festival inside Conexus with entertainment, storybook princesses, action heroes and face painting, photo booths and much more,” said Aho.
The festival will take place six weeks from now on Family Day, February 20th.