Banking on good snow festivals
If you have young children or are a fan of musicals, you're probably very familiar with Idina Menzel's dulcet tones singing "Let It Go" from the amazingly popular snow-themed film Frozen, but snow can be fun for all ages! Children delight in its arrival, spending many hours building snowmen and indulging their imaginations as the magical flurries from the sky settle. Adults too like to indulge, with the snows heralding the winter sports season, letting them try their hand at everything from skiing to ice skating.
Whilst there has always been après ski element to any ski trip snow festivals are becoming so grand they are almost a winter adventure in themselves. Whether it's the chance to see superb ice sculptures, hear great music or simply have opportunities to try your hand at various winter sports, they make for a great holiday.
The Flexicover Team lists some of the top snow and ice festivals that take place around the world.
Snowking Winter Festival; Yellowknife, Canada
Snowking is an annual gala organised in Yellowknife, the largest town and capital of the Northwest Territories. Lasting for a whole month, it makes for a wonderful community celebration that’s held every March to showcase the rich culture and arts in the area. The festival takes place on the frozen surface of Great Slave Lake as Yellowknife Bay is converted into a magical land with the construction of a legendary snow castle with ice cut from the lake. The Snow Castle provides a stunning visual backdrop to the films projected on its icy walls, live music, puppet shows and children’s plays, as well as the opening fireworks ceremony.
Snowbombing Festival; Mayrhofen, Austria
What started as a small event in a pub in the Alps has now grown into one of the biggest and best snowboarding and ski music festivals in the world. Days are spent engaging in thrilling winter sports and followed by nights of fantastic DJ shows, jacuzzi parties, indie and rock music performances and plenty more. Blue skies, fresh mountain air and superb slopes join up with fun, themed parties, dancing and some of the world's best known electronic acts. Held every year for a week in this Austrian ski resort, the Snowbombing festival is a great mix of hedonism and winter sports.
Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival; Harbin, China
If the glacial beauty of ice sculptures is more your thing, then try the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. Considered to be the biggest ice and snow sculpture display and competition in the world, this festival in the Heilongjiang province of north-eastern China lasts around two months, beginning in late December, weather permitting. Started as a garden and lantern party in 1963 it today draws hundreds of thousands of people all trying to view the marvellous ice sculptures each carved from enormous blocks of ice sourced from the frozen Songhua River. Other activities include skiing at Yabuli and ice lanterns in Zhaolin Garden.
Sapporo Snow Festival; Sapporo, Japan
In 1950, high school students from Hokkaido started this festival, featuring just six snow statues. Surprisingly, this tiny showcase attracted 50,000 visitors! From these humble beginnings it’s transformed into a major event that now displays about 400 snow sculptures. It’s claimed that about 32,500 tons of snow goes towards making these sculptures, with local Japan Self-Defence Forces personnel bringing in extra snow in years snowfall is low. Held for a week every winter, more than 2 million visitors now flock to this Japanese snow festival each year, visiting Odori Park, Susukino and Satoland sites to see these marvels.
Snowboxx; Avoriaz, France
Having previously been held in Andorra (in the mountains between France and Spain) for the first two years the festival relocated to Alpe d’Huez in its third year. Portes du Soleil’s highest ski resort has been chosen as the venue for the 4th Snowboxx Festival in 2016, which will take place between 12th and 19th March. While the new venue is excellent for snow-boarding, this festival will see amazing DJs and other live music performances that will be drawing both music-lovers and adrenaline junkies alike and promises to bring a real après atmosphere. If you can't wait until March next year, Snowboxx is the second major music festival to base itself in Avoriaz this winter. The Transition Festival, featuring opening night headliner Dizzee Rascal, takes place between 13th and 19th December 2015.
Whether you can’t wait to attend the hottest parties and gigs, marvel at the beauty of ice sculptures or hit the slopes during one of these wonderful snow and ski festivals, you can be sure that we at Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.
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