8-17 February 2019
Whilst most people spend the winter months doing their level best to avoid ice and snow, the inhabitants of the picturesque French-speaking province of Québec City do the very opposite, and positively revel in the frigid surroundings, celebrating the joie de vivre of carnival season in freezing, sub-zero fashion. Québec City held its first large carnival in 1894, but the annual event was interrupted by two wars and an economic crisis before the first official edition of the Québec Winter Carnival took place more than sixty years ago in 1955. The largest winter shindig in the world has been an annual event ever since, comprising parades, an outdoor amusement park, giant ice slides and snow sculpture competitions. Not to mention a fair amount of eating, drinking and being merry, plus traditional dogsled and canoe races. Not to be missed is the Ice Palace constructed with compacted snow bricks and lit with tons of coloured lights.