By Ben Olson
The annual Winter Carnival spans from Feb. 14-23, featuring a bevy of events, including everything from parades to parties.
Here’s an edited schedule of events for the first week. Check sandpointwintercarnival.com for a full lineup of events, and check back in the Feb. 20 issue of the Reader for week 2 happenings.
Friday, Feb. 14
Parade of Lights
The official kickoff to the Sandpoint Winter Carnival is the Parade of Lights in downtown Sandpoint. Participants will light up the winter night with zany floats, marching groups, dancers and more. The theme of this year’s parade is “Love and Light.” It begins at 5:30 p.m. at the City Parking Lot with an awards ceremony immediately following.
The parade route will start east on Church Street from the City Parking Lot, then north on Second Avenue, west on Main Street and Oak Street, south on Fourth Avenue and finally east again on Church Street to finish at the lot. This event is sponsored by Ting.
Judges will award floats “best in theme” and “grand champion” plaques after the parade.
There will be a parade after party in the Jeff Jones Town Square near the fountain. Pend d’Oreille Winery will provide fire pits and s’mores, while Hendricks Architecture will furnish a hot chocolate bar and DJ K.T. Rains will spin the music. It’s all free and open to all ages, so come on down.
Valentine’s Day sleigh ride, dinner and concert (Feb. 14-15)
Join Western Pleasure Guest Ranch for their annual Valentine’s Day sleigh ride, dinner and concert evening at the ranch. Sleigh rides can be scheduled at 5 or 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Maria Larson will sing romantic jazz classics during dinner.
The dinner selection will include apricot jalapeño salmon, blue cheese stuffed tenderloin, scalloped potatoes, roasted veggies and senegalese salad. Dessert will be crème brulee, raspberry tarte and cheesecake.
The cost for the evening is $75 for adults, $65 for children aged 6-12. A no-host bar will be available for you to purchase beer and wine. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 208-263-9066.
Dessert Theater: Love Letters (Feb. 13-16)
The Panida Playhouse players present dessert theater: Love Letters by A.R. Gurney, on the Panida Little Theater stage Feb. 13-15 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. See Page 19 in this week’s issue for more information.
Sweethearts wine pairing at The Fat Pig
Join The Fat Pig restaurant for its Sweethearts wine tasting paired with decadent foods. Rose, red and dessert wines will be offered. Explore the differences in dry and off-dry (sweeter) wines from 4-5 p.m. Reservations required: sandpointfatpig.com.
Starlight Race Series at Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Races, parties, prizes, music, beer – what more could you ask for?
The theme for this year’s race series is “The Great GatSKI!” Roaring ’20s on skis and snowboards. Teams of five include male or female skier, snowboarder, telemarker or any combination of the three. The top three scores per team each week count, using the Starlight handicapping system. Weekly team scores will count for the final team score. There will be nightly parties in Taps featuring live music for the final party, as well as sweet prizes. Helmets are required to race. Race on Friday, Feb. 14 goes from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Register at schweitzer.com. Cost is $50/person or $250/team.
10 Barrel Brewing Co. beer cat tour (Feb. 14-16)
Check out the beer cat parked in the Schweitzer village so you know what you’re looking for when they launch it on the mountain for Saturday’s ski-in, ski-out service. Find this sweet machine out on the hill for a cold draft beer. Sunday, plan on the beer cat being parked in the village for all festivities.
Winter Carnival Cornhole Classic
Join the gang at MickDuff’s Beer Hall for the Winter Carnival Cornhole Crew Cup where every skill level can play. Registration is $10/person. Check out the Beer Hall Facebook page for more information.
Valentine’s Day Dinner at Trinity at City Beach
Bring your lovely to Trinity at City Beach for a special Valentine’s Day dinner. There will be limited menu including oysters on the half shell, surf ’n’ turf, stuffed chicken breast, chocolate covered strawberries and more. Reservations are highly recommended. Live music by Bruce Bishop.
Saturday, Feb. 15
Live Music at Schweitzer Mountain Resort
The mountain will be a musical destination today, with Miah Kohal playing at Taps from 3-6 p.m, followed by The Electric Cole Show at Chimney Rock from 6-9 p.m. and The Rub from 7-10 p.m. at Taps.
Family Fun Day and winter games at the Granary
Join Evans Brothers Coffee and Matchwood Brewing for a Family Fun Day from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. This daylong event features music, a magical show, hot chocolate bar, beer and coffee tasting, drink specials, a snowman competition (weather permitting) and tons of other fun activities. Head to the Granary at 524 Church St. for the action.
Wine tasting event at The Longshot
Join The Longshot in Sandpoint for a wine conversation and tasting event from 5-8 p.m. Wine expert and distributor Ryan McReynolds will be hosting the event with Longshot owner Brandon Brock. The tasting will cost $10. The Longshot is located at 102 S. Boyer Ave.
Sunday, Feb. 16
Coca-Cola ‘Let it Glow’ night parade and fireworks
Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Coca-Cola are celebrating Winter Carnival with the Coca-Cola ‘Let it Glow!’ kids parade and fireworks show. Pre-registered kids will receive free LED battery powered “torches” before heading down Ridge Run as a group for a nighttime LED parade, followed by the Coca-Cola fireworks show. The fun happens from 6-8 p.m.
Nice Turns free trial run
Have you been skiing for years and feel stuck in a rut? Check out a free sample of the Nice Turns Clinic from 1-3 p.m. at the Nice Turns Trial Run tent in the village. These are free trial runs and have an opportunity to meet the coaches, determine your level, and potentially find your own Nice Turns group and coach.
Tuesday, Feb. 18
Dine out for a Cause
From 3-9 p.m., dine at Trinity at City Beach where 10% of the proceeds from the evening will benefit the Bonner Community Food Bank. Bring two non-perishable food items and receive a free dessert. Marty Perron and Doug Bond will play live music from 5-8 p.m.
Pre-Duck Derby Party
Join The Rotary Club of Ponderay and MickDuff’s Beer Hall for a Pre-Duck Derby Party starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Beer Hall. The 14th annual Duck Derby is Ponderay Rotary’s event held each year on Schweitzer on Spring Fling Day in April. The Pre-Duck Derby Party is your chance to support the fundraising efforts of the Rotary Club toward their 2020 scholarship fund that benefits local students. Raffle tickets will be sold for great pries and discounted Duck Derby hunting licenses will be available for purchase.
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Winter Carnival Sale
The Sandpoint Shopping District businesses will be throwing a Winter Carnival Sale downtown. Shops will be open until 7 p.m. and will have sales, games, treats and more.
Winterfest Whiskey Wednesday
Join A&P’s Bar and Grill from 5-9 p.m. for Winterfest Whiskey Wednesday, with whiskey specials benefiting the Panida Theater.
KPND Ski and Board Party at the 219 Lounge
KPND and Wallace Brewing are teaming up for a Ski and Board Party from 5-8 p.m. There will be chances to win concert tickets, passes to Triple Play Family Fun Park, an overnight stay at Hill’s Resort and lots of gift certificates for local restaurants and retail outlets.
Book signing at Laughing Dog Brewing
Head on out to Laughing Dog’s Taproom for a brew, book signing event with Charles Vaught, wildland firefighter and author of State of Fire from 6-8 p.m.
Week 2 events will appear in the Feb. 13 issue of the Reader.
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