This year Cochrane’s Winter Carnival will be from February 6th – 16th
It is going to be an amazing few weeks here in Cochrane, with many activities for all ages. My favourite activities of the Winter Carnival are the Polar Bear Dip, Demolition Derby, and the Torchlight Parade.
The Polar Bear Dip, I have done two years now and looking forward to another great dip this year, is where a hole is cut into the ice on Lake Commando and the Towns Folk jump into the freezing water. Before and after the freezing cold swim, there is a sauna for you to warm up in. By far it is the most refreshing thing I have ever done. After the first initial shock to your body, it seems as though it puts it into hyper drive and your body works harder than ever to keep you warm. After the swim the cold air doesn’t seem to be as cold anymore. I always find I get very tired that night and I sleep so well.
The Demolition Car Derby is held at the Cochrane Snow Dump, where the Town piles all the extra Snow from the sidewalks in town. For the Demolition Derby, a stadium is dug out of the gigantic pile of snow. It is a most amazing site and I have never seen anything like it till I moved here to Cochrane. It is such a different experience to watch the cars smash and crash into each other while also slipping and sliding in the snow.
The Torchlight Parade is also such a different concept which I have never seen. The volunteer firefighters work hard to build torches before the event. The Day of the event people gather in two different locations on each side of town. Each participant is given a lit torch to carry down 5th street towards Lake Commando. Once you reach Lake Commando, everyone throws their torch into a giant bonfire. It is truly amazing to watch thousands of people carrying torches. It brings such light to the community. The bonfire area is where the Mayor and Carnival Chair have the opening ceremonies!
I am looking forward to this years Carnival which is less than a month away now. It helps to get through the frigid nights of Winter when you have such wonderful things to look forward too!