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Yellowknife

Snowbuddy’s Winter Garden opens in Yellowknife


This year’s pandemic-adapted version of Snowkings Winter Festival has begun with a behind-closed-doors door-opening.

Ordinarily, hundreds of people gather on Yellowknife Bay to see the Snowcastle’s door cut open with saws on the festival’s opening day at the start of March.

This year, the festival performed a quieter ceremony of its own, later distributing photos and a video online.

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The Snowcastle itself doesn’t technically exist this year. Instead, Snowbuddy’s Winter Garden – free to enter – provides an open-air, more spacious experience designed to allow social distancing.

However, with the entire perimeter lined by a snow wall to meet safety requirements, the effect is essentially an even larger castle – or at least castle grounds – than ever.

You need to register online to visit the winter garden. Don’t just turn up and hope to be allowed in. You’ll find a snow maze inside, as well as the usual ice slides.

From Friday, teams of local snow sculptors will take part in a snow carving contest. The garden will be illuminated every Saturday evening.

Snowking, this year styled Snowbuddy instead, at the opening of the winter garden
Snowking, this year styled Snowbuddy instead, at the opening of the winter garden. Photo: Bill Braden
The effect of 2021's design is to create what looks like an even larger castle than usual
The effect of 2021’s design is to create what looks like an even larger castle than usual. Photo: Bill Braden
The slides inside the winter garden. Photo: Bill Braden

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