اخبار العرب-كندا 24: الاثنين 12 فبراير 2024 08:59 صباحاً
Organizers of Quebec City's annual winter carnival say the 18-day event was a hit despite unseasonably warm weather that forced the carnival to close one of its main attractions on the last day.
As temperatures climbed up to 4 C, a nine-room ice palace, known as Bonhomme's Palace, began to melt and was closed prematurely on Sunday for safety reasons, says Carnaval de Québec general manager Marie-Ève Jacob.
The palace was only viewable from the outside for the remainder of the event.
"We had some challenges, but it's challenges we're used to having," said Jacob.
It wasn't the first time comparatively balmy temperatures caused problems for this year's carnival organizers.
The ice dome at the event's sculpture garden also had to be closed on Thursday due to safety concerns as temperatures lingered above the freezing mark.
Unseasonably mild weather also forced the closure of the ice dome at the event’s sculpture garden on Thursday. (Submitted by Eric Ouellette)
The winter event wrapped up its 70th edition this weekend. This year, the festival stretched eight days longer with new attractions, requiring about 20 times more artificial snow than last year.
While the mild temperature may have taken its toll on the facilities, it also may have helped attract festival goers, says Jacob.
"Both the first weekend and the last, our numbers were up, so the mild weather was an advantage," she said.
Jérôme Déchêne, the carnival's director of programming, says new activities and attractions likely also contributed to the surge in numbers.
This imposing structure, more than 13 metres tall, intended for ice climbing was one of the new attractions at the carnival this year. (Amélie Auger/Radio-Canada)
He highlights the large-scale opening show, which brought together 50 artists and drew thousands of people, the return of the Bal de Bonhomme, a masked ball which sold out, as well as two night parades, which drew thousands of spectators.
"This year, we were adding new sites and a new week, so it was a challenge for the team," said Déchêne, adding the format was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the event and will not be repeated next year.
The 71st Carnaval de Québec will take place from Feb. 7 to 16, 2025, with hopes for cold weather, says Jacob.
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