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Event guide: 2022 McCall Winter Carnival

The ten-day festival returns for a 56th year - with some changes - after being canceled in 2021.

MCCALL, Idaho — The 2022 edition of the McCall Winter Carnival begins Friday, Jan. 28, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 6. 

The big news here is one of Idaho's favorite small-town winter events is back, after the 2021 carnival was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, COVID continues to spread, so some events have been canceled or changed to allow for physical distancing. The Mardi Gras Parade is not happening, but other signature Winter Carnival features are still on -- snow and ice sculptures around town, live music in Depot Park, and fireworks over Payette Lake, to name a few.

The McCall Chamber of Commerce, which helps organize and publicize the carnival, "highly" encourages everyone who attends to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor locations, physically distance from people outside of your "pod," and stay home if you are feeling sick.

This year's Winter Carnival theme is "Return to our Roots." KTVB and Idaho Central Credit Union are presenting sponsors.

A rundown of what's happening each day is in this story, but first, a photo gallery of some of the spectacular snow and ice sculptures from the recent past.

For 2022, awards will be presented to winners of the local snow sculpture contest, but the Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships have been canceled.

Events schedule

There's a lot packed into the ten days of Winter Carnival. Listed below are highlights on the schedule for each day. For a full calendar, click here.

Snow sculptures can be viewed around McCall and vendors are set up downtown through the entire festival.

Also each day of the festival, the City of McCall Outdoor Ice Rink will be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Golden Glove Park on Fairway Drive.

Masks are required inside Mancester Ice and Events Center.

Friday, Jan. 28

  • 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Public skate at Manchester Ice and Events Center
  • 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Winter Carnival Mainstage - Depot Park, 1101 N. 3rd Street: music, food vendors, family fare, beer garden
  • 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.: Children's Torchlight Parade - children will line up between 5:30 and 6:15 p.m. at Community Congregational Church, then march down Lake Street to the opening festivities and fireworks at Legacy Park.
  • 6:30 p.m. - Winter Carnival Opening Ceremonies
  • 7 p.m. - Winter Carnival Opening Ceremony Fireworks over Payette Lake
  • 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - Live  music on the mainstage: High Pine Whiskey Yell
  • 7:30 p.m. - Ice hockey: Boise State Broncos vs. Oregon Ducks at Manchester Ice Center. Ticket information here.

Saturday, Jan. 29

Two pancake breakfasts:

  • 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - Younglife Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser at McCall-Donnelly High School; $8 per person, $5 ages 5 and younger
  • 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Winter Carnival Pancake Breakfast at the McCall Senior Center, 701 1st Street; $8 per person

After breakfast:

  • 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. - IceClimbers Skate Program at Manchester Ice and Events Center: people with special needs can skate for free with members of the Boise State ice hockey team.
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Idaho Sled Dog Challenge Showcase: Meet the mushers, dogs and view an original dog sled; informational packet and goodies available on 2nd Street
  • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Cascade - Winter Carnival National Snowbike, Snowmobile and UTV races; happening one mile up Warm Lake Road.
  • 1 p.m. - Little Ski Hill Slopestyle Contest, 3635 Highway 55 (practice, check-in, course inspection open at noon)  
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - USS Idaho submarine and sailors presentation on 2nd Avenue near Manchester Ice and Events Center. Learn more about the new submarine.
  • 2 p.m. - Live music on the Mainstage: Jonathan Warren and the Billygoats
  • 6 p.m. - Live music on the Mainstage: West Mountain Takeover
  • 7:30 p.m. - Ice hockey: Boise State vs. Oregon at Manchester Ice and Events Center (ticket  information)

Sunday, Jan. 30

  • 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - Younglife Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser at McCall-Donnelly High School; $8 per person, $5 ages 5 and younger
  • 9:30 a.m. - Idaho Sled Dog Challenge: Meet the mushers at Lake Cascade State Park, Van Wyck Unit, 970 Dam Road
  • 1 p.m. - Little Ski Hill Rail Jam (practice, check-in, course inspection open at noon)
  • 12:45 pm. to 3 p.m. - Public skate at Manchester Ice and Events Center; also scheduled: Ice bumper cars

Monday,  Jan. 31

Video below: What kind of weather to expect for opening weekend of Winter Carnival

Tuesday, Feb. 1

  • 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. - Public skate at Manchester Ice and Events Center
  • 1 p.m. - Idaho Sled Dog Challenge: 100-mile start at Lake Cascade State Park
  • 5 p.m. - Winter Carnival Dinner at McCall Senior Center, 701 1st Street; (Price: $7)

Wednesday, Feb. 2

Thursday, Feb. 3

  • All day. - Idaho Sled Dog Challenge: 300-mile finish at Lake Cascade State Park
  • 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. - Public skate at Manchester Ice and Events Center
  • 5 p.m. - Winter Carnival Dinner at McCall Senior Center, 701 1st Street; (Price: $7)

Friday, Feb. 4

  • 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Public skate at Manchester Ice and Events Center
  • 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Live Music on the Mainstage: Jughandle Parade
  • 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. - Tiki Torch Treks at McCall Golf Course, 925 Fairway Drive
  • 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - "Heroes" on Ice figure skating show at Manchester Ice and Events Center (ticket information)

Saturday, Feb. 5

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Annual McCall Area Snowmobile Club Fun Run, Francis Wallace Parking Lot to Burgdorf Junction and back.
  • Noon to 2 p.m. - Snowman Building Contest, McCall Public Library, 218 E. Park Street
  • 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Public skate at Manchester Ice and Events Center
  • 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - Live Music on the Mainstage: Milton Menasco and The Big Fiasco
  • 7 p.m. - Winter Carnival Closing Ceremony Fireworks over Payette Lake
  • 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - "Heroes" on Ice figure skating show at Manchester Ice and Events Center (ticket information)

Sunday, Feb. 6

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Winter Carnival Mainstage and Vendor Court open

For more information about what to expect as you travel to McCall, COVID guidelines, and enjoying the carnival safely and courteously, click here.

More about the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge from Idaho Today:

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