The Bon Soo Winter Carnival, which brings some ‘joie de vivre’ to the region, in and around Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario each February, is fast approaching. With a slew of events planned, February 3rd – 12th will mark the 54th celebration of the iconic festival.
Of course, Mother Nature has historically, been the last word on many of the outdoor events. With the primary location of the 2017 carnival at The Machine Shop and grounds, in the Canal District, Mother Nature will not have us at an extreme disadvantage.
Mr. Bon Soo is still in ‘hibernation’, and was resting up during the announcement at OLG Sault Ste. Marie Casino on Thursday, January 19th. Judging by the breadth of the festival events, he’s going to need all the rest he can get between now and opening day, Friday Feb. 3rd.
Kerrie De Poli, Bon Soo Festival Manager shared, “Bon Soo truly is a reflection of our community. and that is because of our great community partners.”
“Bon Soo 2017 will be located at the beautiful historic venue, The Machine Shop. We will be outside and inside there, with all of the activities that people enjoy. They can come inside and warm up and enjoy hot beverages, canteens, and activities. People won’t have to rush home to warm up because they can do that right on site. The Machine shop truly is a partnership. What’s happening there (Machine shop) is truly a wonderful thing for Sault Ste. Marie, and for Bon Soo”
The BumSlides are always a big hit with every age. Their location in the Winter Playground at The Machine Shop will, no doubt, be an ongoing hub of activity.
“A new event this year is Sensitive Sliding.” De Poli stated that this event is a way to engage children and young people who may wish for “A quiet, more orderly sliding experience.” The enhancement to the BumSlide was developed in conjunction with the Algoma Autism Foundation. “Our community believes that all children, and all sliders should be able to experience sliding in the way they need to.” Said De Poli.
“Super splash Sunday is a new concept for the Festival. Feb. 5th.
Joining the move to the Machine Shop is the Sault Search and Rescue supported event, The Polar Bear Swim.
“The Legendary Polar Bear Swim is moving to a more reliable venue where warming up and, and getting ready to undertake the big splash into freezing cold water, can all happen in the same general area. We will be using a tank this year, and we guarantee the water to still be, freezing cold.” Said De Poli.
Randy Roy and Don Marshall, Sault Search and Rescue, were part of the announcement and shared that they are fully supportive of this move. “This is a great opportunity to manage the event in way where no matter what the weather turns out to be, we can still go ahead and run it (Polar Bear Dip).” said Roy.
“Last year we were wondering about whether or not we could run the event two or three days before it was scheduled. We ended up going ahead, but this new staging area eliminates the prospects of those concerns.” he said.
“Search and Rescue are absolutely vital to this event.” stated De Poli
An outdoor tank will house the ice water, and the cage that Search and Rescue deploys for all of the Polar Bear Swims. Participants will still be jumping into water that is kept at – or near – freezing. The cage measures 8 x 12 x 5 feet deep. It is also cushioned on the bottom.
De Poli told saultonline that people will still be able to do tandem and small group jumps into the outdoor tank.
Roy stated “Sault Search & Rescue has only had to cancel the event at the Bellevue Park location once, due to a search and rescue operation.”
For a complete line-up of the Bon Soo Winter Carnival 2017 line-up, go here: .bonsoo.on.ca
There are events scheduled at venues all over the community.
“Brian Oja has done a great job designing the Bon Soo 2017 Button. This year we really wanted to celebrate “OLG presents Bon Soo 2017 – Now at the Machine Shop!” said De Poli.
Bon Soo Buttons are $7.00 (including tax), and are required by guests age 4 and older for entrance to most Bon Soo events.
The Bon Soo OLG Fireworks Extravaganza, Friday, February 3rd will really kick things off starting at 7:00pm. It all happens at The Winter Playground, The Machine Shop, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.