The Barrie Winterfest is a yearly celebration of the winter season. There are a wide variety of events happening, but we’ve uncovered our favourites for you. Whether you’re looking to seriously challenge your mettle by jumping into icy Kempenfelt Bay, or just want a cozy bar to enjoy some live music – you’ll find it this weekend at the Barrie Winterfest. Named one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals, Winterfest is a celebration of the season and a great reason to get out from under those blankets you’ve been hibernating in since Christmas.
Barrie Winterfest Music
These dark winter months can sometimes feel like they last forever and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and not want to move until spring. Pull yourself out of it by swinging by one of the locations hosting the February Blues Festival this weekend. There are restaurants, bars, libraries, and concert venues all within the Barrie area where you can enjoy blues and jazz music performed by some of Canada’s best musicians.
Grab a pint on Saturday and settle in for a snowy afternoon of music at the Redline Brewhouse from 2:00 – 4:30 pm. Also on Saturday at the City Hall Rotunda, Jimi Hendrix inspired musician Toney Springer will rock out from 8:00 – 10:00 pm. Finish off your night with live entertainment at the British Arms Pub from 10:00 pm – 2:00 am.
Click here to see the full schedule of events and locations.
Barrie Waterfront Foods
Barrie Winterfest has a variety of food and merchandise vendors like BeaverTails, Captain Cook de Fries, Lalonde’s Maple Syrup, Birch Farms Butter Tarts, and many others. In addition, the Barrie Farmers market is open for customers to browse an assortment of local food and gifts.
Another relaxed and delicious way to spend a day this weekend is by exploring the Hot Chocolate Trail. This local event showcases unique and tasty creations at cafes and restaurants in downtown Barrie. With more than 20 different takes on the traditional hot cocoa, you’ll encounter varieties that include Salty Marshmallow, Cherry Chocolate, raw Peppermint or even Vegan Keto options.
Winterfest Outdoor Events
Grab your mittens and get outside this weekend! There are so many Winterfest events to take part in, but what we’re most looking forward to this weekend are the lumberjack competition, and the polar bear dip.
Grab a spot by the lumberjack competition to watch these experts display their astonishing speed and skill. Events like the Speed Saw will see competitors slice through thick logs in mere seconds, or use their chainsaws in the Carving competition to create astonishing works of art in record time. The Axe Throw is a perennial favourite as well, where the lumberjacks set their sights on a bullseye to win.
What better way to shake off that cabin fever and the remnants of Christmas sloth than by leaping into the icy Kempenfelt bay? Those who are brave enough to dare can join the Polar Bear Dip at Centennial Beach on Sunday at 12 noon. A northern tradition, polar bear plungers claim the dip into icy waters is invigorating and a boon to one’s stamina and immunity. No pre-registration or fee is required to participate, and if you’re not up to taking it off – you can also watch from the shore!
In the center of all this fun is the Bonfire warming zone, which draws in everyone for a reprieve from the cold. Hold onto your #hotcocoatrail treat, warm yourself up and people watch all the activity around you.
If you’re tired of the cold and are looking for other fun activities to do indoors, take a look at our other lists of events.
WinterFest 2019 & the Barrie Native Friendship Center
This year Winterfest has partnered with the Barrie Native Friendship Center to celebrate their 31st anniversary. So go on and grab your toque and mittens and join us this weekend to celebrate winter.