Confederation Park and Other Winterlude Locations
Confederation Park is one of the main centres of Ottawa’s Winterlude Festival, and what was excellent for us was that we were staying right across the street at the Lord Elgin Hotel. So all we had to do was literally cross the street and we were right in the heart of the action.
Winterlude is Ottawa‘s winter festival, organized by the National Capital Commission. It brings together exciting events and activities for the whole family and most of the activities are free of charge. Naturally, Winterlude is a big draw for tourists: last year the festival attractived approximately 650,000 visitors.
Confederation Park with Ottawa City Hall in the background
You would think that Ottawa is a city of bureaucrats, who maintain a stiff upper lip at all times. Far from it, as we had already seen during our Friday night outing to Fat Tuesdays in the ByWard Market, Ottawans know how to party and Winterlude is a 2 week long excuse for everyone to get out and celebrate winter.
Winterlude is hosted throughout the entire city, so here is a summary of some of the main Winterlude Locations:
Confederation Park is hosting the Casino du Lac-Leamy Crystal Garden, an outdoor entertainment venue that includes the Crystal Lounge, a variety of food vendors and outdoor sculptures.
When we headed out on Saturday morning, we walked right into the ice carving competition where 7 or 8 ice carvers were working on frozen blocks of ice, using a variety of electric and hand tools to give shape to the creatures of their imagination.
Chain saws were being used, electrical grinding tools and hand chisels slowly but surely created recognizeable objects. Teddy bears, choo-choo trains and cartoon characters were coming to life right in front of our very eyes.
Confederation Park also hosts the Fire and Ice Culinary Demonstrations, and renowned chefs and media personalities compete for the Winterlude Ice Chef titles.