REGINA - For the second year in a row, Frost Regina is on.
The winter festival officially got under way Friday, with the event running Feb. 3 to 12.
The event was launched for the first time last year with organizers hoping to create an annual winter celebration to boost the local economy and allow residents to enjoy and embrace the winter season.
“If we’re going to be here in the winter we might as well make it fun,” said federal MP Andrew Scheer said during the Opening Ceremonies, which took place Friday night between 5 to 7 p.m. at the RCMP Heritage Centre. Other dignitaries including provincial Minister Don McMorris and Mayor Sandra Masters were there to welcome residents to the festival. Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore and members of the RCMP were out in full force for the ceremonies.
The free event that followed inside included flapjacks with maple syrup served by Mounties, as well as maple syrup popsicles. The evening also featured a road hockey game outside and it was at that venue that the opening ceremonies took place.
Festival centres on four "Hubs"
Activities are taking place at a variety of venues throughout Regina and include both free and paid-ticket events. Four “Frost Hubs” have been set up and those are the REAL District, downtown, the Warehouse District, and Wascana Centre. At three of those venues all of the events will be offered for free.
The REAL District is where the paid ticketed events are happening. A FROST Pass will get you in to see GLOW Presented by SaskTel, the Marketplace, the petting zoo, ice slides, ice sculptures, snow maze, Zamboni rides, and the Glow Bar at the International Trade Centre. The most anticipated events will be Frost on Ice with Elvis Stojko at the Brandt Centre with a performance happening Friday night after the opening ceremonies concluded, as well performances at the Harvard Studio 620 Lounge on weekends.
Downtown at Victoria Park will be free events throughout the festival, including public skating at the Rink at City Squaew, Crokicurl, Indigenous story telling, the Frost Art Walk, and Frost After Dark at downtown pubs. Events during the nine days include a Pancake Breakfast Feb. 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Winter Film Shorts Festival with RIFFA, the Igloo Competition with the Design Council of Saskatchewan on Feb. 4, Defrost the Block with Creative City Centre on Feb. 4, and Polar Plunge in support of the Saskatchewan Special Olympics on Feb. 11.
The Warehouse district will feature the return of the Ice Bar ar Rebellion Brewery, featuring sculptures and art and a number of special events and live entertainment. Events include Taylor Swift Dance Party and the Frost Ball Hockey Challenge Partnered with Ballers Rec Room in support of the Regina Food Bank.
Wascana Centre will feature public skating at the Rink on Wascana located right on the lake, as well as a brand new Family Fun Zone on the Queen Elizabeth II East Lawn. Those include activities during the day from the Wascana Ecology team, Government House, the Saskatchewan Science Centre, and Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Indigenous Games, Hide Tanning, and horse and wagon rides also will take place at Wascana Centre.
On the Rink on Wascana, Feb. 8 is Hockey Night on Wascana featuring players from Ranch Erhlo’s Outdoor Hockey League.
This year’s event is touting some local collaborations. Those include Frost Beer, a limited edition red ale crafted by Rebellion Brewery in the Warehouse District, which can be purchased at the Warehouse and REAL district as well as the Rebellion tap room and select liquor stores.
Frost Vodka is being launched in partnership with YQR Distillery and will be featured in The Frosticle, available at the Ice Dome Bar and Glow Gardens Bar on the REAL District, and at various locations throughout Regina while supplies last.
Clothing company 22Fresh has created a limited edition Frost Sweatshirt, with all purchasers receiving free gate admission to Frost @REAL. Those can be purchased at 22fresh’s, www.22fresh.com, or at their location in Regina’s Warehouse District.
The REAL District will host the Firework Show Presented by Federated Cooperatives Limited on Feb. 11 at 10 p.m. to close out the festival’s final night, though there are events running through the afternoon Feb. 12.
The Frost Shuttle will be running to take people to and from events and those run Friday (3rd & 10th): 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday (4th): 12 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday (11th): 12 p.m. – 10:30 p.m, and Sunday (5th & 12th): 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., which ends for Downtown and the Warehouse District at 7 p.m.
While the entire Festival runs Feb. 3 to 12, a large number of the events only run on the weekends. Check the frostregina.com website for full details on times and dates when all the events are running.