MCCALL - A hefty helping of snow in Idaho's mountains has made the McCall a winter wonderland. And that's great news for the always-popular McCall Winter Carnival, which kicks off on Friday, January 29.
In its 51st year, McCall's signature nine-day event brings tens of thousands of visitors from around Idaho and across the country to take in the larger-than-life snow sculptures, breath-taking fireworks shows over Payette Lake and a bevy of family-friendly events around town.
The theme for this year's carnival is "Beyond Tomorrow." 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 McCall Winter Carnival 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 parades, live music on Friday and Saturday nights, a vendor court, beer garden, crafts fair, and a number of other activities in and around McCall.
Below you'll find a schedule of some highlighted events happening during the McCall Winter Carnival. For a look at the full schedule, click here.
Friday, Jan. 29
- 6:30 p.m. - Children's Torchlight Parade
- 6:30 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies Presentation - Depot Park (next to Hotel McCall)
- 7:00 p.m. - Fireworks over Payette Lake
- 7:30 p.m. - "Black and Blue" Rivalry Hockey Game - Manchester Ice Center
Saturday, Jan. 30
- 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. - All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast - McCall Senior Center
- 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. - Mardi Gras Parade - Downtown McCall
- 3 p.m. - Sharlie's Plunge benefiting MYST & the Yellow Couch - Alpine Village
- 7:30pm - "Black and Blue" Rivalry Hockey Game - Manchester Ice Center
Sunday, Jan. 31
- 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. - Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament Decorating - Corner of E. Lake Street & Pine
- 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. - McCall Winter Carnival Craft Faire - Hunt Lodge Holiday Inn Express
- 11 a.m. - MCPAWS Monster Dog Pull - Alpine Village
Monday, Feb. 1
- 5:30 p.m. - Live Music at the Narrows (Shore Lodge)
- 6 p.m. - Rupert's Winemaker Dinner (Hotel McCall)
- 6 p.m. - PLAYLive Star Wars Battlefront Tournament
Tuesday, Feb. 2
- All day - Idaho State Snow Sculpture Building - Depot Park (next to Hotel McCall)
- 6:30 p.m. - The Trouble With Justice: An Exploration of the Western Film (McCall Public Library)
Wednesday, Feb. 3
- 7:30 p.m. - Alpine Playhouse Presents: "The Temperamental Artist or A Bucket of Blood"
Thursday, Feb. 4
- 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. - M-D Education Foundation Chocolate and Spirits Tasting (Shore Lodge)
- 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. - Beard & Hairy and Sexy Leg Contest (Yacht Club)
Friday, Feb. 5
- 7:30pm - McCall Starz on Ice - Manchester Ice Center
Saturday, Feb. 6
- 6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. - Closing Ceremonies - Depot Park (next to Hotel McCall)
- 7 p.m. - Fireworks Over Payette Lake