Feb Fest invigorates downtown Kingston every February. When the winter starts to feel long, the Downtown Kingston! BIA bolsters spirits with a month’s worth of events. This year marks 16 winters enlivened with outdoor activities in and around Springer Market Square.
“As much as I am a summer person, I actually do look forward to Feb Fest,” shares Michèle Langlois, General Manager & Director of Marketing of Downtown Kingston! “I really enjoy that we get to contribute to the overall ambiance of Springer Market Square — more lights, more sparkle, Adirondack chairs, fire pits, etc. Programming the event is also good, fun work — I have loved some of the challenges we have faced — and the problem solving we have done (there are reasons why Kurt Browning has been here 3 times when, in reality, we only booked him once!)”
Highlights of the Festival
Feb Fest launches this years fun with Imagination on Ice on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Canada’s most decorated female figure skater, Kaetlyn Osmond, is headlining the show. Imagination on Ice begins at 1 p.m. at the skating rink in Springer Market Square. Arrive early for a good seat!
Winter Park opens Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, as well. Boucher Park on Clarence Street will host some ice slides and sculptures for kids of all ages. Of course, these are weather permitting, but the Feb Fest team is hopeful the weather will cooperate.
Opening Saturday has the first DJ Skate Night, hosted by Reid from 98.9 FLY FM. DJ Skate Nights will take place every Friday and Saturday until March 7, 2020.
Sunday, February 2nd sees the Polar Plunge happening at 11a.m. at the Crawford Wharf (1 Brock St.). The plunge is in support of The Special Olympics “Freezin for a Reason.” Come down and watch local celebrities and law enforcement officials take the leap into Lake Ontario — and do so yourself, if you’re so inclined! Sign up, or learn more here: www.polarplunge.ca/plunges/kingston
The annual Carr-Harris Cup will take place at the Leon’s Centre on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Watch as the oldest rivals in the history of hockey between Queen’s University and the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) battle on the ice to take the ‘Lennie’ trophy back to their campus. The trophy depicts Lennox Irving, the Queen’s play that scored the lone goal in the inaugural game between the rivals in 1886. The puck drop is at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available at the Queen’s Athletic and Recreation Centre (Customer Service Desk) and the Leon’s Centre Box office.
This week’s focus is hockey! After the excitement of the Carr-Harris Cup, a weekend of hockey events is in store.
Saturday, Feb. 8, atom boys and girls will show off their stuff from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by the Historic Hockey Tournament at 1 p.m. Queen’s, RMC and CFB Petawawa will be participating in this year’s tournament. There will be a hockey legend signing autographs from 11a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. again this year, but who that legend will be has yet to be revealed, so stay tuned!
There is also the opportunity to ‘Skate with the Fronts!’ from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Market Square rink as well, before DJ Skate Night begins.
Valentine’s Day lands on a Friday this year, so take your love to ‘Date Night Skate Night’ on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020.
Ringette demos will take place on Saturday, Feb. 15, and Sunday will include an Artsy Afternoon. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., many downtown galleries and businesses will be featuring original pieces of art.
This is also Family Day Weekend, so there is more fun to be had on Monday, Feb. 17. Marshmallow roasting, outdoor games, photo opportunities, cozy warming stations, and horse drawn wagon rides will be available throughout the day.
The fourth weekend will feature curling demos. I’m sure they held onto these until the last weekend to drum up excitement for the Tim Horton’s Brier, which begins on Saturday, Feb. 29. For more information on attending events for the Brier, visit https://www.visitkingston.ca/brier/.
All month long:
- Winter Park at Boucher Park (Clarence Street) and Market Square Ice slides and ice sculptures (weather permitting)
- Toast to Tapas Every week features different restaurants and different themes from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. daily
- Warming Stations Look for Muskoka chairs and fire pits in Springer Market Square
- Selfie Wall Share a photo from Feb Fest at Springer Market Square
- Every Tuesday Theme Skate Nights from 6pm – 9pm (Read about the themes below)
- Every Friday and Saturday Live DJ at Springer Market Square from 6pm – 9pm beginning on February 1
- Every Saturday & Family Day Horse-drawn wagon rides from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Every Sunday Learn to Skate (16 years +) takes place at the rink in Springer Market Square from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The themes for the Tuesday night Skate Nights will include: Disney Night, Movie Soundtrack Night, Through the Decades (70s, 80s, 90s, 00s), and Today’s Hits, which will also be Jersey Day to sport your favourite jerseys. There will also be a very special 2020 Tim Hortons Brier “Rock” themed Skate Night. Everyone is encouraged to dress up, get out, and enjoy these themed skating nights.
Stay up to date:
Be sure to visit https://www.downtownkingston.ca/events/2020/feb-fest-2020 for the up-to-date schedules throughout the month.
This year’s sponsors include City of Kingston, Tourism Kingston, Gabriel Pizza, Taylor AutoMall, and MacKinnon Developments.
Looking for other winter activities to do around town? Visit Things to do in Kingston in the Winter for some great suggestions.
The Downtown Kingston! BIA, an association comprised of and funded by 700+ downtown businesses, puts on this splendid festival to celebrate the our Canadian winter. The association is dedicated to the maintenance and promotion of a vibrant and healthy downtown.
Jessica is a busy working mom who enjoys writing, editing, and blogging. She loves raising her family here in Kingston and tries hard to get out to all the amazing events around town. You can find more of her writing on her blog A Modern Mom’s Life, and see what she gets up to with her family on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!