The Dryden Observer

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Plenty of fun planned for Dryden’s Winterfest

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

By Chris Marchand

There are many reasons to stick close to town for the upcoming Family Day long weekend as Dryden gears up to host its annual winter festival Feb. 18-20.

City of Dryden recreation department’s Andi Kidd, says the event will build on the successes of previous years, focusing most of the weekend’s signature events on the Dryden waterfront and ice road area.

Winterfest’s grand opening is paired with a fun hockey event, Saturday Feb. 18, pitting the Dryden Ice Dogs against a rag-tag squad of local police officers in Cops vs. Dogs. The purchase of a Winterfest toque gains you access and offers a chance to win $1,000. Proceeds of the initiative will benefit the Neighbourhood Legacy Project.

The fun continues Sunday at Van Horne Landing and all over town. Kidd says there is a significant effort afoot to restore Easter Seals Snowarama (a snowmobile poker ride) to its former glory. With Barry Lynch at the helm, the snowmobile event which raises funds for children with disabilities will be staged at the Dryden Flying Club this year. The Dryden Power Toboggan Club has also partnered with the event.

“This year Rotary has teamed up with Snowarama to help promote the event,” says Kidd. “In the past, Snowarama was huge and we want to get people excited about that event again.”

For every $370 raised in pledges a ballot will be entered into a provincewide draw for a 2012 Ski-Doo MXZ 600. Contact Sunset Realty or The Rotary Club of Dryden for more information.

Last year’s surprise hit was the ‘Pimp Your Ice Shack’ competition, which saw widespread participation from ice shack residents.

Last year’s winner Wayne Grandmont, whose family surprised him in 2010 with a man-cave makeover is taking a more active role in the preparations this year, says Kidd.

“Behind his shack he’s building an Olympic sized hockey rink,” said Kidd. “You can imagine there will be kids galore skating on that.”

Outdoor rinks will be the focus of a new event — For The Love of Hockey — a search for Dryden’s best outdoor skating rink. Judged by members of the Dryden Ice Dogs, the winners will receive a game of shinny with the team on their rink.

At Van Horne Landing the City has also worked to prepare its ice skating oval and sliding hill. Sleigh rides, dog sleds and snow kites will also be a part of the festivities.

Eight Canadian Forces Reserve troops from Kenora’s 116 Independent Field Battery will also take part in the weekend, particpating and offering volunteer assistance wherever possible.

For more information on Dryden’s Winter Festival, check out the Dryden Observer website at for a schedule of events, call 223-1426, or email

Dryden Winter Festival 2012

Schedule of Events


Saturday, Feb. 18

7 p.m. -10 p.m.  — Grand Opening Ceremony @ Dryden Memorial Arena

(Dryden Ice Dogs vs. Cops — a fun hockey event for kids to watch)


Sunday Feb. 19

9 a.m. to 12 p.m. — Moose Hall Breakfast at the Moose Hall

*11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Snowarama for Easter Seals Kids @            Dryden Flying Club

1:30 to 3:30 p.m. — FREE Family Fun Skate @ Dryden Memorial Arena

1:00 to 3:00 p.m. — FREE Family Fun Swim @ Pool and Fitness Centre

Open all winter — Skating Oval and Sliding Hill @ Van Horne Landing

12 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Bonfire and Warm Up Hut @ Van Horne Landing

12 p.m. to 4 p.m. — FREE Snowkiting lessons and demos @ Van Horne Landing


Monday, Feb. 20

9-11 a.m. — Pancake Breakfast @ Royal Canadian Legion

*8 a.m. to 4 p.m. — 3 on 3 Hockey Tournament  @ Dryden Memorial Arena

9 -9:45 a.m. — FREE Water Fit @ Pool and Fitness Centre

1-3 p.m. — FREE Family Fun Swim @ Pool and Fitness Centre

*12 p.m. to 4 p.m. — FREE Family Fishing Derby @ Wabigoon Lake

* 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Pimp Your Ice Shack: Judging @ Wabigoon Lake

Open all winter — FREE Skating Oval and Sliding Hill @ Van Horne Landing

12 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Sleigh Rides and Dog Sled Rides @ Van Horne Landing

12 p.m. to 4 p.m. — FREE Snowkiting lessons and demos @ Van Horne Landing


* These events require pre-registration*

For more information of Dryden’s Winter Festival contact the Dryden Recreation Complex at 223-1426, or email


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