Tuesday • February 2, 2016
Powder snow and legends, family fun and entertainment; these are the essence of Griz Days – Fernie’s annual winter carnival held on the first weekend of March every year for almost 40 years.
Griz Days is arguably Fernie’s biggest event, stretching from Historic Downtown Fernie to the peaks of the Lizard Range towering above Fernie Alpine Resort. Take in the Street Parade and Fireworks, enjoy unique entertainment including the Rocky Mountain Lumberjack show or participate in the Extreme Griz Competition! There’s something for everyone, from the Baby Griz Crawl to Senior’s Bridge, Street Hockey to Skiing with The Griz.
Griz Days Winter Festival 2017 will be its 40th Anniversary! Festival will be March 3-5th.
Fernie’s own mountain mascot, The Griz, stands 8ft tall and fires his musket into the sky bringing down Fernie’s famous powder snow. Legend says that a baby was born in a mountain cave many years ago; after battling a mighty grizzly bear the boy was seen leaping across the mountains clad in bearskin, carrying a giant musket. He became Fernie’s icon, a symbol of strength and our adventurous (and cheeky) spirit – roaming the mountains seeking snow and the sport of winter. Read more about the Legend of the Griz.
Celebrating an International theme, Fernie invites the world to enjoy a 3-day carnival of mountain-inspired fun for the 39th annual festival.
Kicking off on Friday March 4th, Griz Days opens with a chance to meet and ski with the Griz at Fernie Alpine Resort. Later in the day, younger visitors will love the Family Fun Event at Station Square, adults can join a themed Pub Crawl, or pick up tickets for The Country Stomp - a great night of live entertainment from the Ken McCoy Band and line dancing!
On Saturday 5th, there’s a packed schedule of events starting with a Pancake Breakfast, Griz Days Craft Fair and Baby Griz Crawl - a fun morning for indoor folk! As afternoon rolls around, watch (or participate in) The Extreme Griz Competition at Fernie Alpine Resort – mountain men and women will test their skills at axe throwing, snowshoe racing, and more. There’s also a Rail Jam and Griz Swim Olympics at the Aquatic Centre, Street Hockey Tournament at Park Place Lodge and the Rocky Mountain Lumberjack Show, Street Parade and Fireworks downtown. An open-air Downtown Dance Party and Bacon Spectacular will keep the party lively all afternoon and well into the evening.
On Sunday 6th, the fun continues with the Raging Elk Dummy Downhill at Fernie Alpine Resort – hand-built dummies will hurtle down a custom-built slope to their doom in a hilarious spectacle of explosive action. Watch the action or enter your own dummy! A Family Dance rounds out the afternoon for parents and kids to enjoy.
Add to this the Griz Wiz Scavenger Hunt and Pre-Novice Hockey Tournament (both all weekend) plus ample options for outdoor adventures from alpine skiing and snowboarding to cross-country skiing, fatbiking and snowshoeing, great nightlife and Historic Downtown to discover, and you have all the ingredients for a fun-filled weekend.
Make sure to pick up your Griz Pin on arrival from locations all over town - if you’re caught without one the sheriff may throw you in the Griz Jail! Every pin is also an entry into the Griz Days draw for $1000 in cash! Each pin is individually numbered; the winning number will be posted on Facebook and at the Chamber of Commerce after the weekend.
Follow Griz Days on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with all the action!
See all the fun of 2013's Griz Day's Festival:
Griz Days Fernie Winter Carnival from Tourism Fernie on Vimeo.