Yes, once more Winterlude has come to an end here in Ottawa and Gatineau, and I for one will miss it. It's a festival that brings in hundreds of thousands each year to skate on the Rideau Canal, to take in the city, and to celebrate the best weather Canada has to offer. Yes, I'm talking about the winter, quiet, you summer worshippers.... Goodbye, Ice Hogs who look like chipmunks....
One of the basic staples of Winterlude is the Beavertail, which, contrary to what you might think, is neither something kinky or a part of an actual beaver. It's a flat pastry, fried and covered with a variety of toppings. It's a business that's been around awhile, here in Ottawa, and if you pay a visit here, you have to try one out. There are permanent locations in the city, and numerous booths set up for festivals and big days like Canada Day.
I only got over to the other side of the Ottawa River, to Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau, on the weekend, where I was dismayed to find that the snow sculptures were absent this year. It's actually my favourite part of the entire festival, sculpture teams from all provinces and territories carving out blocks of snow into art forms. Instead, there were a couple about in what's generally a children's play area, with giant snow slides built in the park, right beside the frozen river.
And so once again, time to put away the celebrations for another year. It doesn't mean the winter's over, of course. There's still all of March. And April. And May. And even June.