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Summerside gearing up for Barbegazi, Jan. 18-19

Barbegazi, a winter action sports festival, features axe throwing, fat biking and dozens more activities. It will be held at Credit Union Place in Summerside on Jan. 18 and 19. – Photo from Barbegazi official Facebook/Vincent Sauriolnado
Barbegazi, a winter action sports festival, features axe throwing, fat biking and dozens more activities. It will be held at Credit Union Place in Summerside on Jan. 18 and 19. – Photo from Barbegazi official Facebook/Vincent Sauriolnado - Contributed

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – In a few days, Islanders and visitors to the province will take to Credit Union Place (CUP) to participate in a new spin on winter fun.

Barbegazi, a winter action sports event, runs Jan. 18 and 19.

Summerside resident Billy McGuigan said he is looking foward to Barbegazi.

“I’ve got a wife and three kids so we’re going. We’re all excited to take part. It’s a unique event," he said.

A pair of kids try fat biking at Barbegazi in Montreal. – Photo from Barbegazi official Facebook
A pair of kids try fat biking at Barbegazi in Montreal. – Photo from Barbegazi official Facebook

McGuigan's children are also excited.

“My daughters, ages 10 and 11, are looking forward to trying the fat bikes and maybe even get a chance to throw an axe or two," he said. "My little guy, who’s six, is really excited for the monster snow hill they’ve got. He also said he wants to take in a magic show."

It will be family fun for everyone, he said.

“[Barbegazi] is huge for the community. It shows the work that’s put into bringing events like this to the city. We’re a great community to host this.”

JP Desrosiers, director of Community Services for the City of Summerside, said it’s going to be an exciting weekend at the CUP.

“There’s been a fantastic reception from an online perspective. We’ve done a couple of accommodations contests because we also want this event to capitalize on Island tourism. All of the winners are from out of province too which is great.”

Desrosiers says there’s been a strong interest from people in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

“Barbegazi, or frozen beard, is a different kind of festival and I think people are a little bit unsure, but once you get into, get to try fat biking or human curling or axe throwing I think people will really enjoy it.”

The activities are free to participate in and there is no registration required.

On Saturday there will be a fat biking race at Rotary Friendship Park for experienced riders. This is in partnership with Cycling P.E.I. Onsight registration is required.

Activities will run simultaneously throughout the weekend both outside and inside the facility.

“People can go from line to line or if there is a big crowd, try out another activity while they wait for an opening.”

Desrosiers plans to participate in the fun.

“I can’t wait to throw an axe,” he said. “All the events are so unique. It’s going to be a great time.”

For the full schedule, click here.

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