George Berg prepares to curl with a frozen turkey.

Elkford celebrates another exciting Winter in the Wild

The citizens of Elkford came out for a fun weekend of tossing frozen turkeys and playing Sno-Pitch

The citizens of Elkford slipped on their winter boots and threw on coats to participate in fun-filled activities at this year’s Winter in the Wild festival. Running from February 14 to the 16, the event is a long-standing Family Day tradition for Elkfordites, bringing the community together to revel in winter activities while raising funds and awareness for the range of activities, clubs, teams, and resources offered in Elkford. Some of the organizations participating this year include the Curling Club, Nordic Ski Club, Rod and Gun Club, and the Snowmobile Association.

“It’s about fun, family, and getting out doing things together. It’s the middle of winter, and it just breaks everything up,” said Joan Hemmes, a local proudly celebrating her tenth Winter in the Wild.

The excitement began on Friday with a public swim, an open skate, and a highly anticipated evening fireworks show. Catering to people of all ages and abilities, the festival offered a wide range of activities in varying intensity levels, both for indoor and outdoor enjoyment.

“It’s about family; getting together with family and friends,” said Lori Borys, convener of the Sno-Pitch tournament. “I mean, Elkford is friends. Everybody knows each other. It’s a community, so we all get together and have fun!”

Festivities continued throughout the weekend with a pancake breakfast at the Community Centre on Saturday, followed by hockey games and a family snowmobile ride. Nearing noon, a variety of other laughter-inducing activities began, including the annual Sno-Pitch tournament. In this energy filled event, teams faced each other in outdoor slow-pitch games, making for an exciting afternoon of diving into snow banks, blasting music, indulging in homemade chili, and tailgating by a campfire.

“The people that are in this year are the first to be invited back next year. We’ve had just about the same teams every year, for nine years,” said Borys about the popular event.

Of the more comical events of the festival was the infamous turkey toss: a staple of Winter in the Wild where partakers attempted to curl with a frozen turkey.

“All of the money raised from [the turkey toss] goes towards Elkford Junior curling,” mentions Carmen Murray, coordinator of leagues for the Curling Club. Murray also noted how the turkey toss helps to expose people to curling for the first time, in the hopes of sparking a passion for the sport.

The family snow sculpture contest started on Saturday, where mounds of snow were dumped in Riverview park waiting to be molded into everything from rockets to bears.

Also bringing the community out of their homes on Saturday was the ball drop, a chance for participants to win up to $3000 by selecting the ping pong ball that would land closest to bullseye when dropped from a hanging box.

For those preferring to celebrate indoors, there was also a winter craft fair at the Community Conference Centre, Elkford’s Housing Society ran a Toonie Tea Social, and the Aquatic Centre put on a Day Disco Dance pool party.

Whether celebrated indoors or outdoors, on a lawn chair or with hands dug into the snow, this year’s Winter in the Wild surely brought smiles to many faces in Elkford.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Josie Diederich hits the ball into the field in the annual Sno-Pitch tournament. Photos Soranne Floarea/The Free Press

Payton Kaiser and Ivy Wright watch the ball drop.

Just Posted

WildSafeBC hosts wildlife safety clinic

The event taught locals how to be bear safe while out in the backcountry

Stag Leap sprints into summer programming

Fernie’s Stag Leap Running Co. encourages participation in virtual races and their Thursday Run Club

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

The International Snow Science Workshop goes virtual

The livestreamed event will include speaker sessions, poster presentations, and panel discussions

Twlefth annual Columbia Basin Culture Tour showcases local artists

Artists from throughout the Elk Valley will be participating in the event August 8 and 9

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

B.C. group renews call for protection of newly discovered glass sponge reefs

DFO says public consultation will play heavy role in future protection measures

Most Read