First celebrated as the "Payette Lake Sports Festival" in 1924, the McCall Area Chamber is excited to get back to its roots celebrating ice sculptures, outdoor fun and quality family time in 2021. 

Will there be a winter carnival or not? It's a debate that my husband and I have been having for weeks. McCall is home to around 3,000 people on a regular day. Over the 10 days of Winter Carnival, more than 60,000 people come to visit the resort town.

While I can't picture us being packed into a crowded nightclub for drinks at the end of the evening, I thought "there's gotta be a way for the snow sculptures to go on." Over the years that we've been going to Winter Carnival, I can't recall a time where there were more than one or two families checking out a snow sculpture at the same time. There's plenty room to spread out and grab a quick photo!

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The McCall Chamber agrees! This morning they announced that Winter Carnival will still be celebrated Friday, January 29 through Sunday, February 7. Due to COVID-19, they will be cancelling the larger events like the Children's Torch Light Parade, Mardi Gras Parade, fireworks shows, beer garden and main stage music. They do however, still expect dozens of amateur and professional snow sculptors from all over the world to come create snow sculptures throughout the town. In fact, they anticipate even MORE sculptures being created this year. The goal is to have up to 50!

McCall's businesses are practicing proper COVID-19 safety protocols, so if you still want to grab one of their local brews or a great meal you'll be able to do that at businesses in town. You'll also be able to visit vendors and have a ton of outdoor fun, whether that means stepping out onto a frozen Payette Lake, sledding or skiing at Brundage.

We're THRILLED that the McCall Chamber anticipates being able to keep the true spirit of Winter Carnival alive. It's a bright spot during what's been a really difficult 8 months.

Find out more about the planning in the video below and keep up to date with any additional changes coming to Winter Carnival by clicking HERE.