March 29, 2023


Winterloo is the only winter festival in Waterloo that welcomes families, young adults and students to the uptown area to enjoy some outdoor events.

The festival runs from 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27. This is the 14th year for the Winterloo festival, which was called Ice Dogs until it was changed four years ago. It was rebranded because there is more to the event than just bringing your dogs and having dog sled rides.

Janice Moore, chair of the Winterloo festival, said there are many events this year as well as over 30 vendors from all over Waterloo. These include Grain Harvest, Deb’s Design, Barefoot Naturals and Dazzle Tattoos. The University of Waterloo’s fine arts program will have a booth to raise money for their trip later in the year.

“This year on Friday night we are going to have a younger feel with a stage, beer garden and hockey games going on,” Moore said.

She said they are hoping to see some students from around the area who want to experience and be part of Waterloo while they are in school. She said students make up about a quarter of the population of the city.

On Saturday it will be more about the families Moore said. Some of the events they have planned for that day are dog sled rides, ice carvings, art activities at the historic Button Factory for families needing a bit of warmth and the famous Winterloo chili cook-off.

“It’s a great festival, we have lots of activities planned for everyone. No matter what you like, come and find it at the festival,” she said.

Moore said people are more likely to stay in during the winter months and Winterloo gives people the opportunity to get out with their families.

“It’s a great reason to get outside during a time when we normally don’t go out,” said Astero Kalogeropoulos, the manager of arts and culture in Waterloo. “There are lots of fun activities for people of all ages, especially this year with Friday night being focused more towards adults.”

“It’s homegrown and we try to have some non-profit groups come out. It’s for those who live and work and play in Waterloo,” she said. “It brings families together and gives them something to do in the winter.”

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