Winter Carnival in Quebec City

Home of Bonhomme

Winter Carnival in Quebec City
Quebec Winter Carnival

In January 2016, I and a friend decided to drive up to Quebec City from Vermont for the annual Winter Carnival, which has been an annual event since 1955.

Being wintertime, the roads weren't too great, but we made the 6-hour trip without incident.

Headed to Derby Line Border Crossing

We arrived the opening night and walked down the somewhat slippery roads to check out the ice palace...

Entrance to Ice Palace

Changing Colors on Ice Palace

After waiting in line and watching the different colors displayed on the ice, we made it inside for a tour. The ice palace shape and theme changes every year. As we walked through the palace, we saw amazing sculptures, such as this fireplace:

Ice Sculpted Fireplace

and even an ice pool table!

Pool Table Made of Ice

Outside of the ice palace there was the International Snow/Ice Sculpting Competition going on with people from all over the world working on their sculptures to be judged the following day:

Sculptor at Work

Sculptures Near Completion

Across the street lies Quebec City's Parliament building, all lit up for the night:

Parliament Building

The following morning, we decided to check out more of the city before going to the carnival. Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rich history and Old World charm, and there are many historical sites to explore. Walk along the cobble stoned streets of Old Quebec in Upper Town and see things like the eglise Notre Dame des Victories (church):

Notre Dame des Victories Church

Since it was carnival time, there were several ice sculptures around the city, like this one of some Star Wars characters:

Star Wars Ice Sculpture

And, of course, a sculpture of Bonhomme, the official representative of the Quebec Winter Carnival:

Taking a Photo with Bonhomme

There's also a giant mural painted on the side of one of the buildings:

Giant Mural

Old Quebec also has many restaurants and shops in the Petit-Champlain district, and you can't help but notice the famous hotel Chateaux Frontenac overlooking the St. Lawrence river. The hotel was opened way back in 1893 and you can go inside to tour even if you are not staying there.

Chateaux Frontenac

In front of the hotel is a statue of Samuel de Champlain, the man who founded the city:

Frontenac Up Close With Statue of Samuel de Champlain

In front of the hotel is the Dufferin Terrace, a long wooden walkway where there are canons pointing out to the St. Lawrence...

Dufferin Terrace Along St. Lawrence River

At the end of the terrace there are stairs leading to the Governors' Walkway (Promenade des Gouverneurs) with great views out to the St. Lawrence river and the ferries that cross it, even in the ice!

Stairs from Terrace

Ferry Crossing Frozen St. Lawrence River

Further up the stairs is the Plains of Abraham, where the Winter Carnival is held. This is also the site of the Battle of Quebec back in 1759. In the early 1800s Quebec had 4 Martello towers built to help in the defense of the city, one of which is on the Plains of Abraham:

Martello Tower

The Winter Carnival's entrance is on the opposite side of the Plains, accessed from Parliament Hill. Before you enter the carnival, there are horse-drawn carriage rides available through town:

Carriage Ride on Parliament Hill

Winter Carnival Entrance

And after you enter the Carnival site, there are plenty of fun activities to explore! There are horse-drawn sleigh rides...

Sleigh Ride

a ferris wheel with nice views f the city...

Ferris Wheel

View from Ferris Wheel Over Plains of Abraham

an ice slide...

Ice Slide

and plenty of snacks to buy and fun ways to take photos!

Photo Fun

We also walked around the outside of the nearby Citadel, another integral part of Quebec City's defense since 1920...

Citadel of Quebec

Citadel Entrance

The following day we had to head back home. But before we left Quebec we made a stop at Montmorency waterfall. At over 270 feet tall it is 98 feet taller than Niagra Falls! You can buy tickets at the Welcome Center:

Montmorency Welcome Center

Montmorency Waterfall

In the winter, some adventurous people like to ice climb right by the falls...

Ice Climbers

It is so cold that the spray from the falls freezes!

Frozen Spray

You can walk pretty close to the falls on the ice...

Close to Falls

We then headed back to the United States and home...

U.S. Border

If you would like more information on Quebec City and Winter Carnival, and Montemorency Waterfall, please check out the following sites:

https://www.quebec-cite.com/en/what-to-do-quebec-city/old-quebec-things-to-do

https://carnaval.qc.ca/en/the-carnival/bonhomme

https://www.quebec-cite.com/en/businesses/parc-de-la-chute-montmorency

#travel #quebec #canada #quebeccity #oldquebec #wintercarnival #bonhomme #frontenac #stlawrenceriver #montmorency #waterfall

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Rachael Spafford
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