Winterfest returns after pandemic hiatus with record turnout

February 9, 2023   ·   0 Comments


A record number of revellers embraced the season’s chill during Mono’s Winterfest 2023.

Kim Heaton, Mono’s recreation director, said this year’s edition of the winter celebration was the best one in the past 30 years it’s been held. Hundreds of people turned out on Feb. 5 at the Mono Community Centre to enjoy cross-country skiing, skating, snowshoeing, and horse-drawn sleigh rides.

People warmed up by a bonfire with warm treats.

Winterfest took a break during the two-year global shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. But that time away didn’t hamper interest in the festivities.

“If anything, it heightened the interest,” Heaton said. “It was amazing. The best one yet.”

The beautiful weather was a boon, too, she said.

“People were so ready to get out,” she said. “The fact that the weather was so perfect, it brought people out.

“Hordes isn’t a great word, but I couldn’t believe it. By the hundreds. We had more people there than I’ve ever seen. It was a great day.”

The event even drew a family all the way from India. Well, they were in the area to visit family that lived in Dufferin County. But the Winterfest happenings piqued their interest, Heaton said.

“They were driving by Mono Centre Road and they saw all the cars parked at the community centre,” she said. “They came in and could not believe what they’d fallen upon.

“They had the best time.”

Indeed, she said, the offerings were very well received by everybody who came out: tobogganing, an obstacle course, and marshmallows roasted. Inside, the town had its Snowflake Draw, lunch counter, and information booths set up by community groups. This all took place against the backdrop of tunes being spun by a DJ.

More than 70 businesses donated to the Snowflake Draw.

“It just didn’t stop,” Heaton said. “It was great outside and then inside we were just packed.”

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