Editorial - Think big about a winter festival

Last week two 'snow artists' from Saskatoon braved the final days of the recent cold snap and created 'Huggable' in City Centre Park.

The snow sculpture is certainly something of a conversation starter for the community, something different, something artistic, something that shows winter need not be a season of life indoors under the bed covers.

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Winter, cold as it may get, can still be a season to celebrate, and while the pandemic has put the kibosh on a range of events, the first steps toward vaccinating the population hold out the hope we will be able to gather again within several months, so why not start planning things now?

So could Huggable be the seed that sees a winter festival developed in Yorkton?

Could a park filled with snow blocks to sculpt be part of that effort?

Street hockey and broom ball throughout the downtown, snowshoe disc golf, horse and cuter races at the new Legacy Co-op grandstand, an outdoor hockey game between Yorkton Terrier and Melville Millionaire alumni at Century Field, snocross races, a Yukigassen event (snowball fight) between Sacred Heart and Yorkton Regional High School students, and the list could go on.

We are talking a major, week-long event that becomes a draw for people throughout the trading area wanting to get out and enjoy winter.

It is something where the community could dream big and make it happen.

At times that has seemed to be the barrier locally, thinking 'big'.

The Sunflower Craft Sale tried to take the theme to the broader community with business window displays and related-activities, but sadly it fizzled after only a year, or two.

Yorkton has proven very good at hosting regular weekend events of some scope, Harvest Showdown, Rib Fest, Threshermen's Show, but growing those to be inclusive of the community, concerts in local establishment, businesses into the theme, art galleries in step with their shows, schools on-board, has proven far more elusive.

When you consider the City is currently in the midst of a process to update its policy on culture, the time seems ideal to think bigger, to build on the foundations already in place and end up with events that will give Tourism Yorkton events to market in a major way, and in the process boost business as visitors arrive.

As a community we simply need to think bigger and work in unison. What might be created could be amazing.

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