The Bragg Creek Community Association is building upon last year's inaugural Winter in the Woods with another creative and completely original event.
Momentum is building toward the one-day family winter festival set for Jan. 28 that attracted over 1,600 people last year. Gateway Developments is once again the title sponsor and numerous other Bragg Creek businesses have stepped forward to generously support the day.
All of last year's events, including human curling, are returning and there's something brand new called "Freeze-Bee."
Chair Brian Robertson says it's essentially disc golf on skates with three-member relay teams.
Franklin Sports is back to sponsor the family fun zone and were impressed with the buzz the day created last year, explains Robertson.
"When I sat down with them this year, I said, I have this idea of maybe doing frisbee golf on skates, and they went, please. We'll send you a couple of special nets, and we'll send you the discs, just go figure this out and please send us the photos.
"So, we're going to try and do it. It's going to be a bit of chaotic fun and hopefully, it becomes like human curling was like last year, just a crazy event that people can love and enjoy."
Two teams will take to the ice in each timed heat. Every stroke will add a second to their time.
The preliminary round begins at 5 p.m. with the finals at 6.
The day's schedule is two hours longer this year, running from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. It kicks off with a 10 a.m. U13 hockey game between the Bears and the Millarville. There are two one-hour family skates at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Human Curling is at noon, followed by a U15 and adult skill competition. Freeze-Bee starts at 5, then the Powderhorn Pistols face the Redwood Bucks for a little oneupmanship between the two neighbouring communities at 6:30 p.m. Chuck-a-Puck starts at 7:30 p.m. to wrap up the day.
Pre-registration for human curling and Freeze-Bee is expected to open this week and they'll also make room for people who sign up on the day of the event. Robertson says he's been told local MLA Miranda Rosin is eager to return be tossed down the ice.
In addition to rink activities, there's a marketplace, activities for kids, including pony rides from 1 to 3 p.m., music, food concessions, and beer gardens.
Pucks for the Chuck-a-Puck are currently available for purchase at 10 Bragg Creek businesses at $10 apiece. The person tossing the puck closest to the pin will walk away with $1,000. The business on that winning puck will receive naming rights for the outdoor rink for a year.
The pucks are available at ATB, Powderhorn Saloon, Many Legs, Bragg's Korner Kitchen, Loose Mountain Hardware, Branded Visuals, Bragg Creek Trading Post, Mabel and Marie's, Big Earl's Dirt and Snow, and the Bragg Creek Cafe and Baking Co.
"Everything is free again," says Robertson. "Entrance is by donation only. We're just looking for putting on a great event for the area to come out, explore Bragg in a different light, and hopefully help out the BCCA, help out the rink, and support our local businesses."
Last year, about $18,000 was raised for the community association and this year all proceeds are being used to help resurface the outdoor rink, estimated to cost between $40,000 and $50,000.
It is believed this will help keep the ice longer in the winter and possibly allow for some summer programming, he explains. It currently takes a lot of tender loving care by a volunteer rink maintenance team to keep the ice. Last year it only lasted until a week after Winter in the Woods, due to warm temperatures. It was only held for the event by multiple daily flooding in advance.
"It's a big battle, and we're hoping with a new surface we can ease some of that strain on our volunteers."
For updates and more details, you can visit the Bragg Creek Community Association page here.