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Editorial: Nice weather reinforces idea of winter festival

With all the winter recreation features it really does leave one wondering why a ‘winter festival’ of events has not grown up around them in Yorkton. 
Skating oval at Patrick Park one of Yorkton's winter amenities.

YORKTON - Generally, since Christmas we have experienced amazing weather at least in terms of a Saskatchewan winter. 

If you check weather forecasts the nice weather is expected to continue with temperature minus-10 or higher in tap through to Jan. 24. 

Overlay the warm winter temperatures with stunning morning hoar or rime frosts which have turned every tree into stunning winter sculptures, and you have the makings of a perfect time to get out and enjoy the winter outdoors. 

Certainly in Yorkton there are winter options starting with a walk down paved pathways to enjoy a fine January. 

Beyond a walk there are outdoor rinks, the relatively new skating oval at Patrick Park which must be a wonderful circuit with the aforementioned frosted trees, and two crokicurl ovals to test the curling/crokinole skills of participants. 

For those wanting a bit more of a taste of winter it should not be forgotten that there are cross country ski trails at Deer Park Golf Course. 

And many will take the opportunity of warm weather to slip and slide down Rodney Ridge. 

With all the winter recreation features it really does leave one wondering why a ‘winter festival’ of events has not grown up around them in Yorkton. 

The chance for outdoor hockey tournaments, snow sculpting and multiple other ‘winter’ themed ideas could be featured creating an event looked forward to by local residents and tourists in the post-Christmas doldrums that tend to happen as the sun still rises late and sets early through January-February and into March. 

It’s highly likely any winter festival here would include a snowmobile element given the active Sno Riders Club we have here. 

The Sno Riders have long focused efforts on building the recreation of snowmobiling in the area in particular grooming area trails that through co-operation with the city wind their way into Yorkton allowing snowmobile travellers access to food, fuel and lodgings. 

The trail system within the city is a key in terms of attracting snowmobilers as winter tourists. Every time they stop for food, or fuel or a night in a hotel, it generates important dollars being spent in Yorkton, again at a time of year – the post Christmas season – when things tend to slow down in terms of spending. 

This January, with its warm temperatures, and good snow cover, at least locally, has to have snowmobilers smiling and active, and that is good for area tourism and the local economy. 

It might also be the perfect conditions to look at all that already exists for winter activities in Yorkton, and think about how we could build that ever elusive ‘winter festival’ around them.