MCCALL - The always-popular McCall Winter Carnival returns to the Central Idaho mountain community for its 53rd year, bringing with it all sorts of fun and excitement for the entire family. The 2018 edition of McCall's signature event runs from Friday, Jan. 26 - Sunday, Feb. 4.

Each year tens of thousands of visitors are treated to parades, dozens of larger-than-life snow sculptures and breathtaking firework shows over Payette Lake.

Organizers have a full slate of family-friendly activities planned this year (see the schedule of events below). New in 2018 is the McCall Ultra Sled Dog Challenge. This Iditarod qualifier race will span a 200-mile course throughout Valley County.

"We're thrilled to be celebrating another year of the McCall Winter Carnival," Winter Carnival chair McKenzie Kraemer said. "The City of McCall has gathered together to create a memorable experience that keeps visitors coming back year after year, and we are so proud of our community."

The theme of this year's Carnival is "There's 'Snow' Place Like Home" - a celebration of all that is special about the region of Idaho known as the West Central Mountains.

Snow artists from across the West always strive to come up with the most creative sculptures - while sticking to the event's theme - in an effort to take home top prize.

The annual celebration of all things winter was inspired by the Payette Lake Winter Games, which was first held in 1924 when a train from Boise brought 248 visitors to McCall. Since its inception in the 1960s, the McCall Winter Carnival has grown into an iconic Idaho event, which, according to the McCall Chamber of Commerce, brings in more than 60,000 visitors each year.

In addition to the quintessential snow sculptures, the event features live music on Friday and Saturday nights, a vendor court, beer garden, and a number of other activities in and around McCall.

WATCH: 2018 Mardi Gras Parade

EVENT SCHEDULE

Below you'll find a schedule of some highlighted events happening during the McCall Winter Carnival. For a look at the full calendar of events, click here.

Friday, Jan. 26

  • 6:30 p.m. - Children's Torchlight Parade
  • 6:30 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies - Depot Park (next to Hotel McCall)
  • 7 p.m. - Fireworks over Payette Lake
  • 7:30 p.m. - "Black and Blue" Rivalry Hockey Game - Manchester Ice Center

Saturday, Jan. 27

  • 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Flashpoint Snowbike Race - Riverfront Park
  • 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. - Mardi Gras Parade - Downtown McCall (Note - the parade will air live on KTVB.COM, and will re-air on KTVB Channel 7 from 4-5 p.m.)
  • 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Innocent Man - Main Stage (Depot Park)
  • 4:30-7 p.m. - McCall Ultra Sled Dog Challenge: Meet the Mushers - Broken Horn Brewing Company
  • 7:30 p.m. - "Black and Blue" Rivalry Hockey Game - Manchester Ice Center

Sunday, Jan. 28

  • 11 a.m. - MCPAWS Monster Dog Pull - Alpine Village
  • 1:15 - 5:30 p.m. - Public Skate - Manchester Ice Center
  • 2-4 p.m. - McCall Ultra Sled Dog Challenge: Ceremonial Start - Legacy Park

Monday, Jan. 29

  • 1 p.m. - McCall Ultra Sled Dog Challenge: Official Start - Bear Creek Lodge
  • 5-8 p.m. - Live Music: Locals Jam Night - Broken Horn Brewing Company
  • 6-9 p.m. - Winemaker Dinner featuring Dunham Cellars - Rupert's (Hotel McCall)

Tuesday, Jan. 30

  • All Day - Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships - Depot Park
  • 6-8 p.m. - Old World, New World Wine Tasting and Small Bites - Rupert's (Hotel McCall)
  • 7-9 p.m. - Party Bingo (21 and older) - Foresters Club

Wednesday, Jan. 31

  • All Day - Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships
  • All Day - McCall Ultra Sled Dog Challenge: Finish - Bear Creek Lodge
  • 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Grand Bingo - Northfork Lodge
  • 6-9 p.m. - Winemaker Dinner featuring Cinder - Rupert's (Hotel McCall)
  • 6:30-9 p.m. - McCall Ultra Sled Dog Challenge: Awards Banquet - Bear Creek Lodge

Thursday, Feb. 1

  • All Day - Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships
  • 5-8 p.m. - Patio Bonfire at Broken Horn Brewing Company

Friday, Feb. 2

  • 5-8 p.m. - Patio Bonfire at Broken Horn Brewing Company
  • 7-9 p.m. - Free Peoples - Main Stage (Depot Park)
  • 7:30 p.m. - McCall Starz on Ice - Manchester Ice Center

Saturday, Feb. 3

  • 3-5 p.m. - Free Peoples - Main Stage (Depot Park)
  • 6:30 p.m. - Closing Ceremonies and Raffle Drawing - Depot Park
  • 7 p.m. - Fireworks over Payette Lake
  • 7:30 p.m. - McCall Starz on Ice - Manchester Ice Center

Sunday, Feb. 4

  • 4:30-8:30 p.m. - Super Bowl at Broken Horn Brewing Company