Leave the winter blues behind this weekend by joining in the fun at the Champlain Winter Carnival, which takes place from February 7 to February 9.

Note that there is free cross-country skiing happening all weekend, thanks to the participation of Ski-Vent-Clic. You can get onto the trail (which encircles Vankleek Hill) by parking at the recreational trail parking lot on Highway 34 north of Vankleek Hill or at the St. Jude Catholic School parking lot, located at 5355 Highway 34 (also north of Vankleek Hill).

Friday evening kicks off with a winter formal ball. Admission is free for this event, which takes place at the Vankleek Hill Community Centre. Note that young children must be accompanied by an adult.

On Saturday, everyone is invited to skate, slide, enjoy music, an outdoor bonfire, free hot chocolate and more at the Vankleek Hill Community Centre at 36 Mill Street. From 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., it’s the 3-on-3 Winter Classic Hockey Tournament happening inside the community centre ($). If you are interested in learning more, contact Steve Bissonnette at 613-306-2499.

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a craft activity for children in the reception hall, organized by the Champlain Library. This event is free for children.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the L’Orignal Firefighters Hockey Tournament will take place on the outdoor rink. For information about this event, call Stéphane Pépin at 613-551-6513.

In the meantime, the Vankleek Hill Sports Club will be hosting the Lumberjack Competition outside ($). To find out more, contact [email protected] — you can also register for these activities by email: double log cut, block chop, water boil, axe throwing.

APEX Escape Room will also be on site and this activity is free. Arrive early as this is a first-come, first-served event.

There will be old-fashioned taffy on the snow, served up for free by Sugar Dandy Sweets and free tastings from Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company.

An indoor glowstick skate with a special guest will take also take place — the skate will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., join Lorie Turpin for Drink and Doodle ($), with live music by Highway 34.

A family movie will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. — the movie, either Aladdin or Small Foot, is being chosen by the crowd on Facebook. There will be free admission and snacks. Children and parents are invited to bring a blanket and a pillow.

On Sunday, February 9, it is the Annual Vintage Snowmobile Show, at the Vankleek Hill fairgrounds at 92 Main Street West. Breakfast is served from 9 a.m. to 12 noon or while quantities last ($) and there will be snowmobile drag races at the fairgrounds.
Note that the traditional ride portion of the event, which used to see snowmobilers leave the fairgrounds and make their way along a route which crossed private property in the area, is not taking place this year.

Winners of the colouring contest and the snow sculpture contest will be announced during the carnival. The deadline for entry for both of those activities was January 31, 2020.