A popular winter event is making its return to Fort Saskatchewan next week! 

Winterfest is being hosted by the Fort Saskatchewan Historical Society on Monday (Feb. 20) at the Fort Heritage Precinct grounds after a long three-year absence. 

"Winterfest started out, I believe, 14 years ago as a vintage snowmobile show," said Stuart McGowan with the historical society. "Over the years we started adding things like snowman making, we had dog sledding at one point, running around a snow track, and snow golf." 

Due to COVID, the festival has had to take a brief hiatus, with the last Winterfest taking place in 2019. 

"COVID was the big one," said McGowan. "We also have a threshold, if the temperature reaches -18 C we call it off except for the vintage snowmobile show, those guys are crazy, they will come to anything." 

This year's Winterfest won't have all the bells and whistles of the previous ones, but there will still be quite a bit for people of all ages to enjoy. 

"For this year, we scaled back, we are not having the dog sledding, but we are having the snowman making, snow golf, [and the snowmobile show]." 

Festival goers will also be able to have themselves a unique snack at the event. There will be maple syrup suckers that will be made with clean, freshly fallen snow. Certainly, a uniquely Canadian way to take in the festival. 

The event is completely free for people to attend, and the Historical Society worked alongside the city to open up the Old Fort and to have public skating available right beside the festival. 

The vintage snowmobile show is expected to be quite a show-stopper. McGowan says they have a few people bringing in some very old machines. 

"The people [will] get to see some machines that are 40 or 50 years old," said McGowan. "Then they get to see at the end when we are shutting it down, the guys run the machines around a track and see these machines in action." 

Of course, the running of the machines will depend on if there is enough snow on the ground to do so. 

Overall, the excitement to bring back the festival is high, and McGowan can't wait to see people come to enjoy it once again. 

"We are excited to have this again!"