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Jack Frost Winterfest organizers happy with 2019 turnout

Two-year-old Gus Godfrey of Annapolis Valley enjoys going down the toddler ice slide during this year’s Jack Frost Winterfest.
Two-year-old Gus Godfrey of Annapolis Valley enjoys going down the toddler ice slide during the 2019 Jack Frost Winterfest. - File

Rain didn’t dampen attendance numbers at the annual Jack Frost Winterfest in Charlottetown over the weekend.

“Things were on par with previous years,” said Laurel Lea, tourism officer with the City of Charlottetown.

“The weather doesn’t seem to have had any real impact on what went on. It just had an impact on where people spent their day on Saturday.’’

It turns out that many people spent that day indoors as outdoor activities at the snow kingdom were cancelled due to rain.

Laurel Lea.
Laurel Lea.

Officials said safety was the main factor in the decision. It also forced organizers to cover the outdoor snow structures at the Charlottetown Event Grounds with tarps to protect them.

“Mother nature was not a friend of ours on Saturday due to the heavy downpours for most of the morning and early afternoon, (and) it became an ongoing concern for safety,’’ said Lea.

“It didn’t seem to have had much of an impact overall on attendance and ticket sales. We did see a lot of people move indoors on Saturday. This is just another prime example of how important that indoor site is to the event.’’

Eastlink Centre, which ran the indoor playland and live family stage, reports about 15,000 people went through the gates over the four-day event. That’s about a one per cent increase over 2018 numbers.

“I know that a lot of our hotel package purchasers took advantage of the amenities within their hotels. A lot of people were using the pools in the hotels and were taking advantage of the Jack Frost restaurant program and things like that. There was no shortage of things for families to do or participate in.’’

Everything operated as per normal on Sunday and Monday.

And, even if the rain kept people away from the outdoor snow kingdom it didn’t stop them from taking in the outdoor activities on Victoria Row and Queen Street.

Lea said Aurora: A Downtown Charlottetown Experience presented by The Guardian and the City of Charlottetown saw roughly 3,000 people for its evening of live ice and snow sculpting, snowboarding assisted by Snowboard P.E.I., a DJ, and a pyrotechnics display. It was the second year for the night event.


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