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Things to look out for this Griz Days Festival

Voted by Avenue Calgary Magazine as the Best Mountain Festival in 2023, Fernie Griz Days takes place the first weekend of March. Fernie locals celebrate the Griz every winter to bring epic powder snow to Fernie!

The annual Griz Days Festival is traditionally Fernie’s biggest winter event, encompassing the entire community and drawing visitors from near and far.

Who is the Griz?

The Griz is the man that brings Fernie's epic snow. Legend says the Griz was born back in the year 1879 amid a cruel and bitter winter in a grizzly bear’s cave high in the mountains. Sometime later the resident bear awoke, mean and ravenously hungry. A terrible duel of the two mighty figures ensued between the two – one fighting for his life and the other for his dinner.

As the story continues, the town’s people went into the mountain that very next day to discover the source of all the noise from the previous night. They looked high and low on the mountain, then known as Snow Valley. Once one of the men thought he saw a little boy wearing a bear coat and hat nimbly leaping from rock to rock on the lofty peaks. His friends all laughed at him and jokingly accused him of seeing things, and the incident was soon forgotten.

In recognition and admiration of the man who became known as “GRIZ”, the town’s people held a festival all week. Sporting events, competitions, parades and gatherings marked the gala week. The citizen who best embodied the spirit of “Griz” through that week was made honorary Griz for the rest of the year. To this day this festival continues every March in tribute to our powder king. The best powder and packed snow conditions in the west also continue to blanket our mountains.

Brand New Lumberjack Show

This show has become a tradition at Griz Days and is still a long-standing favorite for locals and visitors. This year experience a brand new act by the amazing Laughing Loggers from Vancouver. Come check them out on Saturday.

Extreme Griz Competition

Competitors will be battling each other over a number of challenges for the title of Extreme Griz Champion. Fancy your chances of taking the crown? You can learn more about how to take part in this fun contest here.

Griz Days Bed Racing

Another Griz Day classic. Bed Racing is literally as it sounds. Team of five drag race head-to-head to find Fernie's fastest bed. It sounds ridicoulous now we think about it, and that's because it is! Theme and dress-up for your team in strongly encouraged!

Raging Elk Dummy Downhill

A huge highlight of Griz Days festival, the Raging Elk Dummy Downhill features imaginative & hilarious "dummies" on skis launching themselves off gigantic jump beside the Timber Chair at Fernie Alpine Resort.

Griz on the Mountain!

Catch the Griz skiing at Fernie Alpine Resort, and get a photo with him.

Live music at Griz Days

There'll be a whole host of live performers and entertainment on stage at Station Square throughout the course of the day. This year's main act won't let you leave the dancefloor.

Griz Days Baby Crawl

Never too young to get involved in the Griz Day Festivities! Baby Griz Crawl is back by massive demand! See if your little one has their Griz crawling skills up to the task. Prizes for best dressed Baby Griz and race participants!

Hot Wings Eating Competition

No egos, no talk, just brave soles taking on the spiciest hot wings the Fernie Taphouse can muster. Survive to the end and you earn bragging rights until next Griz Days. Oh, and remember not to rub your eyes when you have greasy hot fingers.

Snow Golf at Fernie Golf Club

There'll be heaps of wacky events happening around town such as Snow Golf over at Fernie Golf Club. It begs the question, are we still technically putting on a 'green' or a 'white'?

Griz Days Parade

Crowds line Fernie's Historic Downtown end to end as the themed floats making up the Griz Days Parade works its way along 2nd Avenue.

Griz Days Fireworks

Griz Days closes up its Saturday schedule with a dazzling fireworks display at Station Square.

Fernie Griz Days Festivaltakes place this year on March 1st - 3rd 2024. We'd love to see your Griz Days Festival moments so please tag with #ferniestoke and #ferniegrizdays on your posts and stories.