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!
The idea of Sara’s Freedom Dog Park is to create a dog park in the Town of Cochrane that is an safe off-leash area for dogs to play. We are looking to raise around $10,000 for fencing, garbage bins, trees, play equipment/structures and signage. Building a small parking lot for community members who live out of town is also in our plan in the near future depending on funds. We are hoping to break ground in the early spring of 2015 for construction and hoping with lots of volunteers to have it open and ready for public use by July. We got over 325 signatures on our petition to ask for the land of the dog park and we are sure even more will use it once it opens. Background: Sara Bernier at ten years old approached Town Council of Cochrane Ontario in 2013 for some land and permission to build an off-leash dog park. It has been Sara’s dream to open up a dog park in Cochrane for a few years and finally decided it was time. Sara worked hard and obtained 325 signatures for her petition to build a dog park. After Town Council approved her idea she went to work to find the perfect location. She assembled a Dog Park Committee of committed adults to aid in her dream. With lots of hard work and dedication the perfect location was found. Now that we have a location that is a safe, accessible, provides lots of running space, and has great visual interest for the dog park, the committee can now start raising funds. Sara believes in giving back to her community and opening up a dog park is a great way to start! Sara wants a park that is safe with a double gate entrance and provide interesting equipment for the dogs to play on.The dog park would create a wonderful wealth of benefits to the dogs, their guardians, and the community. Dog parks allows dogs to exercise and socialize safely, as well as providing an outlet for dog owners to socialize. The love people share for their dogs reaches beyond economic and social barriers and helps foster a sense of community. Dogs who are well-exercised are better neighbours who are less likely to create a nuisance, bark excessively and destroy property. Having the Dog Park located in a central part of Town would encourage users to get out and get active while walking their dogs. Mission: To provide an accessible off-leash area for dogs and their guardians to exercise and socialize in a safe environment while promoting responsible dog ownership. Impact: Everyday many dogs can be seen walking around Lake Commando in Cochrane. Some points of the walk can become dangerous as the sidewalk is very close to the road. With an off – leash dog park the dogs will be a safe distance from any busy traffic and will be in a safe enclosed area for them to wander and play in with no worries. Sustainability: The dog park committee along with volunteers and the Town of Cochrane will all work hand in hand to make sure that the park is maintained for many years to come. About Sara: Sara an 11 year old who is very community minded and hard working. Sara is a part of the Girl Guide Association and is currently working towards her Lady Baden Powell Award. She can be found volunteering for a number of activities and events. From the day she was born she was always so kind and caring to animals of all kinds. Didn’t matter what the dog looked like she still found them cute and wanted to rescue them. She wants to be a vet when she grows up, but says she wont be able to put an animal down. Sara grew up with dogs all her life and wouldn’t change that a bit as it has made her who she is and makes her want to do what she is doing now for the dogs. With her love for animals and the outdoors what could be better than opening up a Dog Park in her home town!