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Travel Alberta
The Real Banff Blog / Published: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 16:42

Experience the magic of SnowDays

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By combining the culture and adventure of a Canadian Winter, the annual SnowDays Festival marks the true start of the season in Banff and Lake Louise. Grab a warm cup of hot chocolate and experience the magic of ice carvers, live music, incredible food and an endless list of winter activities to be enjoyed in the Canadian Rockies. 

Although SnowDays lasts nearly an entire month, there are four major events that deserve a spot on your itinerary.  

Snowdays Kick-Off Party - January 13, 2017 

Every good festival needs a proper kick-off and SnowDays is no exception. Ice carvers, bonfires, ice bars and live music make this the essential way to start your Snowdays 2017. 

Bring your friends or family and enjoy this free event in the heart of downtown Banff on January 13 from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  

For more info visit SnowDays Kick-Off Street Party.   

Ice Magic Festival - January 19 - 29, 2017

Watch a block of ice come to life before your eyes. 

Talented carvers from around the world will gather at Ice Magic for two weekends of competition on the iconic Lake Louise. Each pair will have 34 hours to create their masterpiece that best encapsulates this year’s theme: Canada - True North. 

Tickets for the viewing area on the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise carving site will be required on Jan 21, 22, 28 and 29 from 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Viewing the sculptures outside of these hours on the weekend is free. 

For more info visit Ice Magic Festival 


Banff’s Big Taste - January 18 - 22, 2017 

Featuring five days of culinary events, this is your chance to experience the best of Banff’s food scene all at once. Wine tastings, chef competitions and Alberta whisky seminars are just a handful of more than a dozen events happening across Banff and Lake Louise as part of Banff’s Big Taste.  

Tickets and lodging packages are available directly from Banff’s Big Taste

Jessica Hunter Photography

The Big Bear - February 3 & 4, 2017 

Think railjam meets street party - Once the sun sets on the ski resorts of Banff National Park, The Big Bear comes to life on the streets of Banff. 

Truckloads of snow are brought down from the mountains to create an urban proving ground for some of the best skiers and riders in the area. 

The event begins on Friday with a fierce competition between Mt. Norquay, The Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village. Saturday afternoon makes way for the new era of shredders with the Burton Riglet park, while Saturday evening brings the real competition complete with judges and a cash prize.  

For more info visit The Big Bear.