Celebrate the arrival of winter to Banff & Lake Louise with the annual Winterstart Festival. Held over four weeks starting in early November, the festival marks the coming alive of the mountains with snow and all the fun that winter brings.
The Winterstart Festival has events and activities for everyone. Spend days exploring the endless winter activities on offer in the Canadian Rockies. Stroll the snow-covered streets to join the celebrations in town, and find a cozy restaurant for dinner before curling up by a crackling fire. The next day, catch World Cup racing at the Lake Louise Ski Resort or hit the slopes yourself, followed by some well earned après ski fun or shopping at the Christmas Market.
Bon Appétit Banff
The Winterstart Festival kicks off with the food festivities of Bon Appétit Banff. The finest restaurants in Banff & Lake Louise feature seasonal menus and show off their culinary creations. Learn more here.
Banff Christmas Market
Take the opportunity to peruse the Banff Christmas Market for Rocky Mountain-styled gifts or a keepsake of your own. Read more here.
Santa Claus Parade of Lights and Festive Fun
Celebrate the season in the winter wonderland of Banff & Lake Louise. Get into the festive sprit at the annual Santa Claus Parade of Lights, and then enjoy the rest of the festive fun events on offer. Find out more here.
Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup
Each year the stunning Lake Louise Ski Resort hosts the first race of the Alpine Ski World Cup season. There is no better venue than the panoramic views of Lake Louise to experience ski racing first hand. The sound of ringing cowbells, the colourful flags of nations from all around the world, and the frightening speeds of ski racers whizzing by; it’s an exhilarating event to be a part of.
Admission is free.
Banff Craft Beer Festival
The Banff Craft Beer Festival not only features tasty beers, but a uniquely stunning location. The festival takes place in the spectacular outdoors venue of the Cave and Basin National historic site, in the midst of the snow-covered Rocky Mountains. Wrap up warm and try a range of locally brewed beers from Alberta.
Visit the Alberta Beer Festivals’ website for more information.
Also during this month long festival are live music concerts, guided walks, carolling, film screenings, and a range of other events hosted by local businesses. Check the events calendar to see what's happening when you are in town.