Reason #1 – It’s the Best Way to See Your Neighbours After Christmas and Before Victoria Day!
Every year, we Canadians seem to go into hibernation between Christmas and Victoria Day… and it seems like we have to reintroduce ourselves to our neighbours every spring. So come on out and see your friends and neighbours at the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival, and see how much fun it is to spend time with them while watching the ice carver, or taking a pony ride or sipping a hot chocolate in the Main Tent. There are activities for all ages, admission is free, Main Stage events and lots of other activities are free and you’re bound to see people you know… after all more than 8,000 of us come out every year to celebrate winter at the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival.
Reason #2 – To Meet Ookpik
Who is Ookpik you ask? Ookpik is the mascot of the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival and he comes out to the Mill Pond Park each year to celebrate winter at the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival. Other than the Richmond Hill Santa Claus Parade, and special appearances at the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival Elementary School Hockey Tournament (and at various Elementary Schools in support of the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival Colouring Contest) the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival is the only time to meet this mythical owl who has been associated with the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival since the late 1960’s. Just like Frosty the Snowman, Ookpik will never be seen in the summertime. Beloved by the young, and the young at heart, Ookpik is a key part of the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival experience and you can’t call yourself a real Richmond Hiller until you’ve high-fived Ookpik at the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival. You can find Ookpik walking around the Winter Carnival site all day February 6th & 7th, or stop by the Main Tent at specified times and have your picture taken with Ookpik (courtesy of the Richmond Hill Camera Club).
Reason #3 – Pancakes!
There is something uniquely Canadian about community pancake breakfasts, and the pancake breakfast on Sunday morning in the Main Tent at the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival is a treasured tradition. Getting together with family and friends (oh, and what the heck, bring the family dog too!) to enjoy pancakes, sausages and back bacon – it doesn’t get much better. After 48 years, we’re pretty good at feeding a hungry pancake craving crowd and every year the members of the Richmond Hill Progress Club demonstrate their culinary skills as they serve up plateful after plateful of pancakes. Pancakes, syrup, back bacon, hot coffee or chocolate and a warm tent filled with friends and neighbours (and all for a very small price) – what a great way to start a Sunday morning in February!
Reason #4 – To Hear (and make) Great Music
Every year, the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival Committee brings a range of wonderful bands to the Main Stage at the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival. The perennial favourite, the Lou Moore Band, anchors a program of talented musicians who join us each year… and like all the entertainment at the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival it’s free! Check out the Winter Carnival Schedule and Events pages to find out who is playing this year and the times. For pre-teen budding musicians, there is a chance to demonstrate their musical talent with the Sub-tonic Monks Zoosemobile. The Zoosemobile is an interactive drum sculpture that is entirely made of recycled materials. It has graced many venues filling space and time with a cacophony of sound. Weighing over a ton it is still whimsical and floats along capturing audiences of all ages. The Zoosemobile has been part of the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival for many years … who knows, maybe some of the entertainers on the Main Stage got their start this way!
Reason #5 – To be Part of a Great Richmond Hill Tradition
While the Town of Richmond Hill has changed dramatically in the 48 years since the first Richmond Hill Winter Carnival, some things haven’t changed. We still live in an amazing place and are blessed with a strong and vibrant community that celebrates both our diversity and those things that we have in common. Forty-eight years ago, when the first group of neighbours dragged their barbeques down to the Mill Pond to hold their first “Winter Carnival” , they had one main objective – to get together for a weekend of family fun and celebrate the most Canadian of seasons – winter. Forty-eight years later, the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival Committee is committed to the same objective. So come on out and join the tradition and make your own Richmond Hill Winter Carnival memories.