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Hundreds attend opening day of Winterlude’s Snowflake Kingdom


It may be a day later than expected, but Snowflake Kingdom is back on.

One of the most popular events of Winterlude held in Jacques-Cartier Park is offering snow slides, an obstacle course and other family-friendly activities.

The winter playground was delayed by one day after organizers needed extra time to prepare the site, amid a milder than usual winter.

A visit to Snowflake Kingdom was a birthday treat for 6-year-old Maggie Lauzon, celebrating with her favourite Winterlude activity.

"We’re sliding," said Lauzon after she raced her brother down the super slide.

"I want to go again."

From sipping hot chocolate to racing in the obstacle course, her family was taking in all that Snowflake Kingdom has to offer.

"It's beautiful to have this in the city. It's just great," said Maggie's dad, Mike.

The spike in visitors, means a huge boost for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

"January in our industry is really a low point, so having this boost in February really helps our business," said D’Arcy McGee’s owner Lauren Drury.

"Last night, we had a busy dinner rush followed by after dinner drinks and today as you can see there's lots of families out and about enjoying Winterlude."

The ice sculptures on Sparks Street are also bring people out of their winter hibernation.

"I don't like winter at all, but here I come out," said Darek Gondor. "It's beautiful. I love this kind of art. I see it anytime I can in Ottawa."

The Rideau Canal Skateway is still closed and the National Capital Commission is reminding people to stay off the ice, but it hasn’t deterred people from enjoying the hundreds of activities the festival has to offer, including some indoor events.

On Sunday, a mini powwow is scheduled at the Canadian Museum of History. The free event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 46th edition of Winterlude runs for three weekends in February. Over the course of the festival, an estimated 600,000 people are expected to participate. Top Stories

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