For those looking for a fun road trip this winter, why not head east on the 401! Excitement is certainly in the air as the Québec Winter Carnival and Igloofest make way for their grand return. With preparations in full swing, these festivals are ready to bring back the joy and liveliness they’re known for. Here is a glimpse of what visitors can expect at these upcoming events.
Quebec Winter Carnival (Québec City)
Québec Winter Carnival, a beloved tradition since 1955, has recently announced extended dates and a special 70th anniversary celebration program from January 25 to February 11.
Bonhomme’s Winter Beach, featuring an impressive 45-foot-tall Ice-Climbing Bear, is one of this year’s exciting new features. Additional fresh attractions include a new Sculpture Garden, the Effigy Rally, a zipline experience and a beginner-friendly Ice Cross. Adding to the thrill is the launch of Sliding City,which will transform three hills in Québec City into exhilarating slide courses.
In addition to new experiences, the festival brings back cherished activities with fresh touches for the anniversary celebration. With a newly added second-floor terrace, Bonhomme’s Palace now offers an impressive view of the city. The palace theme this year is “Time,” showcasing a nostalgic journey of Bonhomme’s life. Bonhomme’s Masked Ball will also return to Château Frontenac, promising spectacular circus performances in a dazzling wintry setting. Additionally, visitors can enjoy favourite attractions like the Night Parades, performances under the Loto-Québec Zone dome, ice canoe races, Snow Bath challenge, traditional sugar shack stands serving Québécois cuisine, live music and much more.
Igloofest (Montréal and Québec City)
Montréal’s Old Port is set to buzz with excitement from January 18 to February 10 as Igloofest Montréal, one of Québec’s most prominent festivals, celebrates its 16th birthday.
Spread across four weekends, this event is denominated “the coldest festival in the world” and features elite international artists and DJs spinning electronic music and other genres. Revellers, amiably dubbed the “abominable snow gang,” are invited to join in a memorable dance-a-thon set against the backdrop of iconic steel structures and wintry décor. While the all-access “Igloopass” tickets are already sold out, general admission and VIP tickets are available.
Igloofest will then return to Québec City for its second year. Inspired by its Montréal counterpart’s enchanting icy décor and impressive architectural set designs, Igloofest Québec guarantees to be another winter spectacle. Taking place at the ExpoCité in Place Jean-Béliveau, this much-anticipated event will showcase its own lineup of leading local and international artists and DJs. Tickets are now available, but expected to sell out.
More exciting events happening in Quebec this winter…
December 28 – 31, 2023
Annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Old Québec’s picturesque Grand Allée neighbourhood, featuring free shows and a winter village. Programming to be released soon.
ArtikFest Music Festival
February 15 – 17, 2024
Electronic music festival in Trois-Rivières in Québec’s Mauricie Region (about an hour and a half from Québec City), celebrating its second anniversary. Full DJ lineup coming soon.
February 22 to March 10, 2024
Illuminated winter festival in Montréal’s Quartier des Spectacles, celebrating its 25th anniversary. The 25th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will take place from February 22 to March 3, 2024 in the Quartier des spectacles.
Look here fo more programming is set to roll out in December and January.
Photo credit: © Eva Blue – Tourisme Montréal