Since the beginning of the French colony, habitants of New France created a rowdy tradition of getting together just before Lent to eat, drink and be merry. The charm of Old Quebec City and their generous hospitality make this a must do for all lovers of winter.
Here are some suggestions for attending the Quebec Winter Carnival that runs from Jan. 28 to Feb. 14, 2016:
- Stay at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. This castle overlooking the Saint Lawrence River puts you right in the middle of all of the Winter Carnival action, and it’s just a short drive to the regions’ best ski resorts.
- Ski at Le Massif, Mont Sainte-Anne and Stoneham. With the St. Lawrence Summits ticket, you can decide which of the three mountains you feel like conquering – that morning. Offered at participating Charlevoix and Québec City lodging establishments (including the Frontenac).
- Watch the Finals of the CMQ Canoe Race. Over 50 teams from Quebec, Canada, France and the United States will navigate the frozen waters of the Saint Lawrence River between Quebec City and Lévis. Navigating the river with solid ice slabs and ever-changing currents is an event you won’t see anywhere else. Feb. 7, 1:30 p.m.
- Attend the Snowboard Jamboree. The snowboard festival is back from Feb. 12 - 14, 2016, to host the FIS Snowboard World Cup. Features the Big Air World Cup where athletes will gain FIS as well as TTR points at the sanctioned event on the World Snowboard Tour.
- Tour the Hotel de Glace. Even if you decide sleeping on an ice slab isn’t for you, be sure to tour this 44-room hotel made entirely of 500 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow.
Photos: Top -- The night sparkles on a winter evening in Old Québec. (Jean-François Bergeron);Right -- Stop by for a tour or spend the night at the Ice Hotel. (Luc Rousseau); Below -- This 100 percent freestyle edition of the Snowboard Jamboree will see the best riders compete in Big Air event. (André-Olivier Lyra)