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Celebrate winter at Barrie's Winterfest

Horse-drawn rides through Barrie's downtown is a part of its annual Winterfest. (Source: City of Barrie) Horse-drawn rides through Barrie's downtown is a part of its annual Winterfest. (Source: City of Barrie)
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Horse-drawn wagon rides will once again clip-clop their way through downtown Barrie.

The city’s annual Winterfest brings back the historical village that was Barrie and presents the new downtown, complete with snow tube and helicopter rides.

A community tradition, Winterfest has been named one of the top winter festivals in Ontario.

The outdoor activities are held at Heritage Park and Meridian Place on Sat., Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sun., Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Downtown activities include:

  • Ice sculptures;
  • Lumberjack shows (Saturday only);
  • “Nature in Winter” program
  • Shows by Speaking of Wildlife;
  • Horse-drawn wagon rides;
  • Snow Valley’s mini tube slide;
  • Inflatables;
  • Buskers and family entertainment, including Team T&J, FireGuy, and NorthFIRE Fire and Ice Circus Show;
  • Fire pit warming zone;
  • Helicopter rides (fee associated), and
  • Vendors.

Other locations include:

  • Polar Bear Dip at Centennial Beach (Sunday only);
  • Skating, including a Showcase and Learn to Skate program hosted by Barrie Skating Club at the Circle at the Centre Ice Rink;
  • Barrie Lions Club Winterfest Pancake Breakfast at Collier Street United Church (Saturday only);
  • STEAM family programming at the Downtown Branch of the Barrie Public Library;
  • Barrie Farmers’ Market snowflake hunt (Saturday only), and
  • February Blues Festival performances at various locations, including the Barrie Public Library and City Hall Rotunda.

Outdoor activities are weather dependent. For full details on the events, activities, and programs visit Winterfest online

Winterfest Park ‘N Ride Shuttle

A free shuttle will operate Saturday from 9:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shuttle will pick up and drop off at Barrie Transit stop #203, located on Coulter Street behind the Bayfield Mall. Riders can park at the Bayfield Mall, accessed off Highway 400 and Bayfield Street. The shuttle will bring riders downtown to Platform 13 of the Barrie Transit Terminal, located at 24 Maple Avenue. From the terminal, it’s a short walk to Heritage Park and Meridian Place. MyRideBarrie.ca/News

Parking

Downtown and waterfront parking is available within close walking distance to Heritage Park and downtown Barrie, including in the Collier Street Parkade, located between Owen Street and Clapperton Street. Downtown parking rates are not enforced on weekends. Waterfront parking areas and Hybrid Parking Lots (Spirit Catcher, Lakeshore Drive and North Marina) are enforced 24/7/365. When planning your trip, review municipal parking guidelines to see the rates and available parking options.

Road closure

Simcoe Street will be closed from Maple Avenue to Dunlop Street from 6 a.m. on Feb. 4 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 5.

Winterfest kicks off Hello Winter; a month-long celebration of winter in Barrie, with events, activities and programs happening around the city throughout February, including a Family Day Winter Adventure at the Barrie Community Sports Complex.

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