Advertisement

Dog sweater contest, hot chocolate, an '80s theme: Calgary's newest winter festival is here

Rebecca O'Brien, executive director of the Inglewood Business Improvement Area (BIA), says the Snow Eater festival was launched to offer Calgarians a way to celebrate the city in a unique way. (Submitted by Rebecca O’Brien - image credit)
Rebecca O'Brien, executive director of the Inglewood Business Improvement Area (BIA), says the Snow Eater festival was launched to offer Calgarians a way to celebrate the city in a unique way. (Submitted by Rebecca O’Brien - image credit)

Calgarians will have the opportunity to dance to a local DJ's tunes, unwind with a cup of hot chocolate and flaunt their best 1980s-themed outfits at a new winter festival in Inglewood starting Saturday.

Snow Eater will take place on Feb. 3 and Feb. 10 at the former Farmer Jones Carz Lot, at  925 Ninth Avenue S.E., from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Rebecca O'Brien, executive director of the Inglewood Business Improvement Area (BIA), says there's a lot to look forward to.

"The idea is that people are going to be following the Igloofest idea from Montreal, which is the music is playing, it's cold, dance to keep yourself warm and embracing the outdoor vibe and an inner-city neighborhood," she said in an interview on the Calgary Eyeopener.

"That's an amazing place to be."

Attendees will be rewarded with a live performance from local DJ Mollify. The artist will be playing tunes in sync with a massive digital art projection on a wall, arranged by Calgary-based projection mapping studio AZMA.

There are more highlights to look forward to such as a dog sweater contest, live music and a moon boot competition.

Some of the beverages on offer at Snow Eater include the most popular items from the Cold Garden Beverage Company, like Cakeface, a malt-based beer. (Jackie Beez)

O'Brien believes the festival will be "funky and fun," thanks to a vibrant outdoor consignment market, an Insta-worthy selfie spot, fire pits and beverages from a popular local craft brewery, Cold Garden Beverage Company.

"Cold Garden will be there just to try to elevate the vibe with a bit of a beer garden," said Dan Allard, co-founder of the brewery.

Some of the beverages on offer will include some of the most popular items from the brewery's menu, like mulled cider, Inglewood Iced Tea, hot chocolate and a malt-based beer known as "Cakeface" and more.

O'Brien decided to work on the festival's first-ever edition because she wanted to offer Calgarians a chance to celebrate the city in a unique way.

"I think that winter's always been a difficult nut to crack in Calgary, in general in terms of outdoors events," she said.

O'Brien added that most people end up exploring the mountains and take up a winter activity like skiing or snowshoeing.

"They do all the things that winter offers here. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they explore the city outdoors in the winter. So this is, I think, an opportunity to delve into that."

LISTEN | Rebecca O'Brien talks about the first edition of Snow Eater:

Snow Eater's first edition has an interesting theme: the 1980s. Think outfits inspired by the 1988 Olympics (held in Calgary), moon-style boots as well as snowsuits.

"In that Inglewood edgy way, we've also really [been] encouraging people to get out there if they can dig it up, find it somewhere. There are 1988 Calgary Olympic apparel. If you show up with any of the original Olympic apparel, you will get a free hot chocolate at an Inglewood venue," O'Brien said.

She's planning to dress up as well.

"I am going to set the tone of that.… I've got the pin, I've got the jacket, I've got the hat. I've got that amazing blue, yellow combo going," she said.

"So yeah, I challenge anybody to outdo what I'll be wearing on Saturday."