Families can now skate and slide in Roblin Park Community Centre’s Winter Wonderland.
Marcy Beaucage has been working at the community centre for over 30 years. As soon as the snow hit the ground, Beaucage was out there, piling snow and driving around the Zamboni to create three rinks, two ice slides and a pleasure skating trail that residents could enjoy.
He does this every year, just before the centre’s winter carnival, which takes place from Jan. 20 to 26.
Beaucage said he does it every year because it’s a passion project.
"This year was tough because I had no snow. It’s been so mild this year that it’s hard to freeze everything. I’ve had to haul snow off the rinks, spray water on everything to keep it in shape," Beaucage said. "It’s hard but I like doing it. It’s very satisfying to see the kids light up when they see the slides. It’s very rewarding."
Beaucage said he started working on the Winter Wonderland on Nov. 6, sometimes working 14 to 16 hours a day to get everything ready before the carnival. He builds the Winter Wonderland differently each year, sometimes he would create a tunnel for kids to slide through, or a completely enclosed slide with a lot of twists and turns.
Tyler Walsh, community relations and publicity co-ordinator for the centre, said the Winter Wonderland is an essential part of the carnival festivities.
"(Beaucage) has gone above and beyond the call of duty for a significant number of years. He puts in a lot of hard work. You see the results of that in the people that use the skating loop and the ice slides, it’s just a great thing for the community," Walsh said.
The winter carnival is the centre’s big fundraiser for the season. The event kicks off on Jan. 20 with the annual Wayne Deschouwer Cup game, where the seven and eight-year-old Roblin Park Raiders take on the Charleswood Hawks in an exhibition game.
The carnival will host several events, including local hockey games throughout the week, with the biggest being the bonfire and fireworks gala on Fri., Jan. 24. Families can enjoy free hot chocolate and marshmallows, while watching a fireworks display at 9 p.m.
Walsh said said the carnival is a way to bring residents together.
"For everyone who uses (the Roblin Park Community Centre), it’s tradition. Charleswood has seen a lot of growth, with all the new development and families moving in," Walsh said. "We want those families to come in and feel welcome. Events like this are the best way to get to know your neighbours."
Walsh said this will be the 71st winter carnival being put on by the centre.
For more information, visit roblinpark.mb.ca.
Community journalist — The Metro
Justin Luschinski is the community journalist for The Metro. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org