A reason to celebrate winter in Hillhurst-Sunnyside

Banishing the winter blues was the task at hand in Hillhurst-Sunnyside Feb. 23, as residents were treated to the community’s annual Family Winter Festival.

Approximately 40 families came out to the event, which included activities like Zumba demonstrations, winter themed crafting, door prize raffles and interactive booths from the Calgary International Pin Club and the Calgary Public Library.

“We make it enjoyable by having lots of different events and activities throughout the morning,” said Elizabeth Chong, the Outreach and Winter Festival Coordinator.

“There’ll be a floor hockey game, an international pin club, which both the kids and adults love, coffee and hot chocolate, lots of candy, Wii competitions and more.”

This was the 24th year of the festival, originally designed as a 1988 Olympics Legacy event. Organizers have worked hard to keep fresh.

“We try to add something different every year,” said Chong. This year, a Zumba demonstration was added to the regular activities.

As for the festival’s goal, Chong said it’s all about having a good time while building a sense of community.

“We love to host it [the festival] because it’s a really fun event. It offers community members a chance for social integration, free refreshments and recreation, and an event at which to meet neighbours and build positive social ties.”

On top of the various activities planned, festival-goers were treated to a pin exhibit by the Calgary International Pin Club.

“It’s a great event, and we really like to support each other,” said Mark Mogen, a member of both the HSCA and the Pin Club.

And in a rare, quiet moment, children gathered for story time which was put on by Tyler Jones of the Calgary Public Library.

But for Chong, the best moment of the day was also one of the most hyperactive.

“[I’m most look forward to] a candy-grab game we’ve invented, since everyone gets very excited during it.”

The Family Winter Festival is just one of many event held by the HSCA, who also hosts regular farmer’s markets.

For more information, visit their website at www.hillhurstsunnysidecommunity.com.

About Ariana Biagi 7 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Ariana Biagi worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.