Sandpoint Winter Carnival guide: Part 1

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff Writer

Sandpoint has a reputation as a quiet town in the snowy months, and right about now, the gray skies and biting wind start to weigh on a person’s will to carry on. (Call me dramatic, but I have to bribe myself to leave my cozy apartment lately with the promise of coming home at 2 p.m. and putting on pajamas.)

But there is one good thing about Sandpoint winters that hasn’t changed since 1973, and that’s the Winter Carnival. The events have changed, but the concept hasn’t: Give people incentive to end hibernation and enjoy the food, drinks and fun of Sandpoint.

Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce President Kate McAlister said there is something for everyone over the course of the carnival, from the Parade of Lights to the K-9 Keg Pull. She emphasized the economic importance of the events for Sandpoint during a time of the year when lodging and dining see a slow spell.

“The Winter Carnival is a great event in the middle of winter after the holidays for everyone to get out of the house and enjoy,” she said. “Come join the fun and shake off the ‘shackie wackies’ from being inside too long.”

Friday, Feb. 16

Parade of Lights

Come watch local businesses and organizations light up the night starting at 5:30 p.m. at the city parking lot. From there the floats will do a route through in the inner streets, then back to the city lot, at which time there will be an awards ceremony.

After-parade party at Pend d’Oreille Winery

The winery will continue the Friday night festivities with free performances by the Gypsy Divas and Sandpoint Karate. Understory Coffee and Tea will be providing delicious and free s’mores at the winery’s fire pits.

Third Fridays with Devon Wade

Good-time country musician Devon Wade plays MickDuff’s Beer Hall from 6:30-9:30 p.m. The Old Tin Can food truck will also be there. The music is free, but you must be 21-plus years of age.

Chinese New Year party

Wear red, gold and sparkles to support Underground Kindness at Evans Brother’s Coffee as they host a Chinese New Year Party at 7 p.m. There will be a Woods Wheatcroft art opening and DJ Mercury dance party. Bring some dough for the Eichardt’s cash bar and the $5 donation at the door.

Petty Fever at the Panida

Come see the full production tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, featuring Frank Murray. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Visit for more information.

Live Music at the 219 Lounge w/ Harold’s IGA

From 9 p.m. to midnight, those 21-plus can enjoy the live music of Harold’s IGA — a band I heard is kind of OK — at the 219 Lounge.

Saturday, Feb. 17

Schweitzer events all day

Kids crafts, a village campfire with treats, a snowshoe hike, wine tasting and more — it’s a full day of fun on the mountain. In the evening Chimney Rock will host music by Electric Cole Show and Taps hosts Devon Wade.

Fourth Annual Winter Carnival Cornhole Classic Tournament

Warm up your tossing arm, because you could earn cash and prizes with impeccable aim at MickDuff’s Beer Hall. To enter the tournament, show up between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. First toss is scheduled for 1 p.m. It’s $20/team, $10/person, and you must be 21-plus.

Sleigh ride dinner and concert

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is providing sleigh rides, which can be scheduled for either 5 or 6 p.m. Afterward, they’ll be serving slow-cooked prime rib and salmon. Maria Larson will perform soft jazz during the evening. Reservations are required, so call 208-263-9066. This event is $65/person, $54/children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.

Live music at the Beer Hall  w/ The Other White Meat

Enjoy classic rock at the Beer Hall with The Other White Meat from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Must be 21-plus to attend, but the tunes are free.

Live music at the 219 w/ The Beatdiggers

Local favorites the Beatdiggers play from 9 p.m. to midnight at the lounge, where you have to 21-plus to jam out.

Sunday, Feb. 18

‘Let it Glow!’ night parade and fireworks + all-day events at Schweitzer

Photo courtesy

The Coca Cola Let it Glow! kids parade, fireworks and night skiing — plus fun stuff all day long — will make for a great day and bright night on the mountain. The parade is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Also enjoy music at Taps from Hawthorne Roots 3-6 p.m. and a party at 7 p.m. with Dodgy Mountain Men. For more information, call the Activity Center at 208-255-3081.

Monday, Feb. 19

Annual 219 party

Starting at 2:19 p.m. there will be $2.19 drink specials, snacks and prizes at the lounge. Must be 21-plus.

Schweitzer events all day

Schweitzer keeps President’s Day poppin’ with activities all day.

Tuesday, Feb. 20

Laughing Dog and Jalapeño’s pairing dinner

Local brews team up with local eats to bring a festive beer pairing dinner at 6:30 p.m. Make reservations by calling 208-263-2995.

Wednesday, Feb. 21

KPND ski party @ Trinity at City Beach

The KPND Ski and Board Party starts at 5:30 p.m. There will be food and drink specials and prizes, so what’s not to love?

Wind Down Wednesday @ the 219 Lounge

From 4-10 p.m. the 219 will be serving up handcrafted cocktails, unique wines, craft beer and appetizers. Truck Mills and a guest musician will perform 5-8 p.m. You must be 21-plus to attend.

Pick up next week’s Reader for a rundown of all Winter Carnival events from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25.

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