6 Reasons Not to Miss the Sandpoint Winter Carnival (Feb. 13-23)

  1. Ski Joring. Not the gentler kind with dogs. No, these daredevil skiers with serious cojones get pulled around at break-neck speeds over jumps by a horse and rider. Watch the excitement with hundreds of other amped up spectators or sign up to compete yourself for the chance to bring home a piece of over $3,500 in cash and prizes. February 14-15 at the Bonner County Fairgrounds. Sandpointskijoring.com.
  2. Snowshoe or Hike on the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail. This 3-mile, guided hike with the Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail will get you out on one of Sandpoint’s most scenic pieces of public real estate along Lake Pend Oreille. Meet at the City Beach parking lot, Saturday, February 22 at 9 a.m. More info: 208-290-1973.
  3. Fat Bike Poker Ride. Ride the trails out at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, some 16 miles northeast of Sandpoint. The ride is on Sunday, February 16, with registration at 11 a.m. and the ride getting rolling at high noon. Post-ride drinks and awards to follow at the ranch. Sponsored by Greasy Fingers Bikes N’ Repair and Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, entry is $10. More info: 208-255-4496.
  4. Parade of Lights – Cirque de Sandpoint. Although the Winter Carnival parade has been around for decades, it’s been in hibernation these past couple years, making this year’s spectacle of eccentric floats, parade marchers and other oddities potentially more wild and crazy and unpredictable than in years past. No need to settle for cheering the show on from the peanut gallery – anyone can don a costume, maybe some lights or glow sticks, and decorate a bike or beater ski mobile and join the fun (it’s not total anarchy, however; you need to register by February 18). The procession culminates with the Cirque de Sandpoint aerial performance and fire dancers at Jeff Jones Square. Mark your calendar for Friday, February 21. More info: 208-263-2161.
  5. Let it Glow Fireworks Show and Carnival Finale at Schweitzer. Saturday night, February 22 starting at 6, get ready for the glow parade up at Schweitzer. Wear your gnarliest neon ski outfit from the 90s, grab some battery powered holiday lights and watch the village dance in light. The resort will hand out glow torches to the first 100 kids to help light up the sky. Fireworks follow with a “blacklight party” at Taps to finish off the night. Schweitzer.com.

K-9 Keg Pull and Family Fun Day. It all starts on Sunday, February 23 at the “Granary” in downtown Sandpoint. Watch dogs of all sizes and breeds “race” while pulling everything from kegs to a can of beer down a snowy course. Come cheer on the canine cacophony or enter your own hound in the action. The $5 entry fee goes to the Panhandle Animal Shelter. At the same venue, Evans Brothers Coffee has family activities planned including the Dave Nickodemus Puppet & Magic Show (1 p.m.) and art projects for kids. And, to round it all off, there’s a dodgeball tournament at noon. Sandpointwintercarnival.com/events. //

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