Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor

Surviving the Weird & Wonderful Winter Carnival

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Confession: I’m terrified of Bonhomme Carnaval.

winter carnival quebec city travel

Bonhomme: Terrifying anglos since 1954

He’s the official greeter of Quebec’s Winter Carnival, which started last weekend.

Crowds of singing drunks fill the streets. There’s an ice sculpture contest, a glittering ice hotel, cocoa served out of ice mugs at the glittering ice hotel, an ice palace, ice skating, a canoe race across the icy St. Lawrence.

Here’s how I plan to survive my new city’s weird and wonderful winter festival:

Ice Drinking:

The Caribou. Photo from National Geo.

It’s called The Caribou. It’s red wine, hard liquor, and maple syrup. It’s rumored to make you so drunk you won’t be able to feel the frigid death grip of winter anymore. Locals drink it out of red canes adorned with Bonhomme as they drunkenly wobble through the winter wonderland.

Dog race watching:

winter carnaval, winter carnival, quebec travel

Look at those smiles!

Quebec is like a mash-up of Paris and Fairbanks, AK. There’s the big city culture mixed with serious weather and wilderness. Last weekend, I stood outside with hundreds of other Quebecers and caught my very first dog-sled race.

I envisioned Call of the Wild but it was more Call of the Scrawny German Shepard. The dogs were little lean sled-pullin’ machines. I’m certain it’s a hard sport. I can’t even get Elwood to walk properly on a leash.

Just say mush.

Ice palace dancing:

 

quebec city ice palace

Photo from Lakelubbers.com

Electronica on ice! Makes me feel better about missing Seattle’s incredibly mild (read: boring) winter months. I just hope I don’t slip and make a fool of myself, though I’m certain I won’t be the only one.

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Author: angloadventure

Professional travel writer and near-professional wanderer. Recently lived in Seattle and Quebec City. Traveled across country three times in a car. Can find the best pizza in any city. Published in Fodor's travel guides, Delta Sky, Where magazine, Viator and others.

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