Griz Days Winter Festival – A Celebration of Winter in Fernie, BC (March 4-6)

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 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.

Photo courtesy of Tourism Fernie
Griz Days Rocky Mountain Lumberjack show. Photo courtesy of Tourism Fernie

5 Reasons to Love Griz Days

  • It’s fun and entertaining with lots to see and do! Everyone can enjoy Griz Days, whether by participating, watching, or simply taking in the festive atmosphere.
  • Most of the events are FREE to watch! Just roll up and enjoy the entertainment!
  • You can participate! You can take part in just about everything from the Extreme Griz Competition to the Dummy Downhill.
  • It’s easy to get around! Historic Downtown is just 3 miles from Fernie Alpine Resort with regular shuttles – so you can ski or snowboard and still take in as much of the action as you like.
  • You get to be part of the event just by being here! Show off your mountain spirit – bring your bugle or beard or dress head-to-toe in your gnarliest mountain gear.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Topham
Meet Fernie’s icon The Griz. Photo courtesy of Jeff Topham

The Griz

Fernie’s own mountain mascot, The Griz, stands eight feet 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.

Griz Days 2016 – Welcoming the World

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 4, 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!

Photo courtesy of Tourism Fernie
Dummy Downhill getting some air. Photo courtesy of Tourism Fernie

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.

Photo courtesy of Tourism Fernie
Another hand-built dummy in action. Photo courtesy of Tourism Fernie

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, fat biking 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.

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