Next weekend, Uptown Waterloo will be busier than usual as Winterloo will be running Friday February 26th from 4pm to 11pm and Saturday February 27th from 11am to 7pm. What used to be known as the Ice Dog Festival, Winterloo has since evolved into a winter celebration. This will be the 13th year for the event, and it has something for everyone. Want to let loose, enjoy some brews and check out some fabulous ice carving? Or would you rather use your hands and do some fun crafts? What about lunch and a movie? If any or all of these things sound exciting to you, then you have to visit Winterloo on the 26th & 27th! There’s even more where that came from – and the best part? It’s FREE! This thanks to not only to the City of Waterloo but their numerous sponsors. Not sure exactly what to check out at Winterloo? Maybe my personal Top 10 will help you out!
No 1 :: Ice Carvings Competition
From 4-7pm, catch some amazing artists as they make ice their own. Representing various schools and groups within Southern Ontario, your mind will be blown as you watch their creations unfold. Have you ever seen someone make art with a chainsaw? It’s quite the sight, especially with something as fragile as ice! Winner will be declared at 7:30pm.
No 2 :: Hockey Rivalry
What’s the biggest rivalry in Waterloo? Warriors versus Golden Hawks! See the two battle it out on the ice as these university hockey teams take each other on. You’ll also see Waterloo’s police crew take on the fire department on what I’m sure will be some good old fashioned friendly competition! Don’t miss it from 6-9pm!
No 3 :: DJ Ares & DJ Flash
These two local DJs are sure to get the party started in Uptown Waterloo’s main square on Friday night. Representing Huron County, DJ Ares has quite the repertoire as he’s been known to mix all genres of music, most recently focusing on house, hip-hop and reggae. As for DJ Flash, you might recognize his name from Starlight or 91.5 The Beat’s Mix @ 6. Laying down beats at many of Waterloo’s bars and clubs, DJ Flash will be sure to lay down some bumpin’ beats to get your ready for a night on the town. These guys will be playing from 7-11pm.
No 4 :: Beertown’s 19+ Winterloo
Nothing pairs better with hockey and music than some ice cold beer. Have no fear, Beertown is here to quench your thirst! Featuring Winterloo’s first 19+ area, you can grab some great drinks while enjoying the sights and sounds of the Winterloo Festival. Make sure you have your ID!
No 5 :: Food Vendors
One can never have too much food, and there will be some to satisfy any hunger! Have a classic cup of joe from Timmies, hearty potatoes from Scrumptious Spuds, fabulous eats from Country Boy, and something to satisfy your sweet tooth from Beavertails. These guys will be around both Friday and Saturday, so you’ll definitely have the chance to try them all.
No 6 :: Chill Cook-Off
If the above options aren’t tickling your fancy, then why not check out the Chili Cookoff Saturday from noon until 2pm at Chainsaw? For just $5 you can sample all of the chilis from Abe Erb, Beertown, Dana Shortt Gourmet, Taco Farm, Wildfire, Zoup, and the brand new Stark & Perri! Judging them will be Waterloo’s very own Mayor Dave Jaworsky, Carlos Benavides of 91.5 The Beat, and local food critic Andrew Coppolino.
No 7 :: Catch a Movie
For those looking for something a little more on the warmer side, Princess Cinema will be showing Norm of the North from 2-4pm. Tickets are free, but they’re on a first come, first serve basis so be sure to stop by an information booth to get your tickets! These are located in the Public Square, at the Heritage Centre Train Station, and the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex.
No 8 :: Battle of the Bands
DJs not quite your thing? Why not check out some up and coming local talent at Winterloo’s Battle of the Bands! You’ll see a variety of genres as Matt Giblin (pop/rock), Stoker (Indie), Runaway Nation (Alt Rock), MaLuna (modern rock), and Ryan Chambers (vocalist). Headlining will be Waterloo’s The Lofi Mind and Hamilton’s Robin Benedict. It’s a great group of artists that you don’t want to miss! They’ll take the stage from noon until 7pm in Waterloo’s Public Square.
No 9 :: Vendor Alley
Money burning a hole in your pocket? Then check out 25+ artists and vendors that will be selling a variety of art, clothing, kids toys, beauty products, and treats for both humans and dogs. Check out the full list here of which vendors will be attending. Be sure to stop by the Waterloo Recreation Complex and support local companies and artists from 11am to 7pm on Saturday.
No 10 :: Dog Sled Rides
Yes, you read that correctly! DOG SLED RIDES! Unfortunately
for me it’s only for kids 10 and under, but you can still enjoy the company of some beautiful huskies in Uptown’s Bauer Lot. These gentle giants love meeting new people (especially kids!) and you can even have your photo taken with them! Beware though, there will be some lines so make sure you’re bundled up while you’re waiting! Also waivers will be required in order to take photos with the dogs, which will be available at the photo booth. Get in some quality husky time from 11am to 4pm on Saturday!
The best part? There’s even more to see and do at Winterloo so check out Winterloo’s full schedule online! They’re also still looking for volunteers, so visit their Facebook page to find out what positions are still available! You can also find them on Twitter, and be sure to use #WinterlooPics in any photos you post!
I am in no way being paid for this post or compensated by any of the companies mentioned. I’m just sharing my two cents on the fabulous activities happening during Winterloo and all opinions are my own!