Need proof that Canadians not only love dressing up in wacky costumes more than most Americans but also come up with wickedly fun and creative contests and festival events? Put Fernie’s Griz Days Winter Festival or the Helly Hansen Big Mountain Battle on your winter trip calendar.

Griz Days Winter Festival (February 27-March 1)

Plan a Fernie Alpine Resort ski vacation or weekend of snowshoeing around the Griz Days festival to ensure you get your fill of mountain town hijinks in between powder sessions. Here’s a bit of what you can expect on the streets of Fernie: a street hockey tournament; Griz Days parade and a family dance; street party with live music and beer garden; bacon eating challenge; fireworks display; and competitions ranging from pancake eating, snow shoe races, a GT snowracer race, log sawing, axe throwing, log tossing, and jeep pulling. More info: Tourismfernie.com/events.

Helly Hansen Big Mountain Battle (February 19-22)

Join the ultimate winter scavenger hunt at Fernie Alpine Resort. The Big Mountain Battle will take you to all corners of the mountain, hiking up slopes and skiing or snowboarding all around the resort with your partner as you hunt for hidden checkpoints. Your movements will be tracked in real-time GPS, and the teams that find all of the checkpoints the fastest will win Helly Hansen gear and other prizes. There will be an intermediate and advanced course, and participants can log on at www.flaik.com after the race to view their route, time, and other stats.

More info: Tourismfernie.com/events. // (OTM)