Roblin Park CC winter carnival returns
For the first time in two years, the Roblin Park Community Centre Winter Carnival is back, bringing with it a week-long extravaganza brimming with events and activities. The carnival begins on Jan. 16 and runs until Jan. 22.
“We’re just extremely excited to bring all of the great family events that we’ve got planned for the week back to the community,” carnival director Tyler Walsh said.
The community centre’s last winter carnival was in January 2020, sneaking in just under that year’s unexpected March deadline for social events.
After the long delay, it seems the community is champing at the bit for some winter fun.
“It’s something that everyone’s been hoping we’d be able to get off the ground,” Walsh said. “We’ve had phenomenal support through sponsorship from many local Charleswood businesses, organizations and political leaders, which is just wonderful. That’s going to allow us to put on some of those wonderful free activities, as well as the hockey tournament, which is very exciting.”
That’s not to say putting on the carnival hasn’t been without a few bumps in the road.
“It’s a ton of work. I think our committee can agree we’re all a bit rusty after not doing this for a couple years. But there’s a lot of good positive community spirit around it,” Walsh said.
He said an event like this requires lots of volunteers to run the canteen, handle raffle sales, or support the hockey tournament. Walsh said he’s been encouraged that people are “stepping up” to help out.
“It’s good to see that … We still have a lot of shifts to fill, but it’s looking pretty good,” he said.
The carnival kicks off on Jan. 16 with the Wayne Deschouwer Cup, named after the longtime president of the Charleswood Hawks of the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League, which features a match between the Hawks and Roblin Park Raiders.
“So, it’s a bunch of teenagers playing a bunch of little kids, and for some reason the Raiders seem to win most of those games,” Walsh said, with a hint of knowing disbelief in his voice. “It’s just incredible.”
That same day featured a floor hockey game between mascots, such as Mick E. Moose of the Winnipeg Jets, whose middle name remains a mystery to fans, and Buzz and Boomer of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Each day of the week there’s something new planned, ramping up to a weekend of activities, including a bonfire and fireworks, a pancake breakfast, an adult-oriented broomball and casino night, and finally Sunday’s hockey tournament finals.
Based on previous years, Walsh expects the carnival to be bustling.
“If the weather co-operates, it’s a zoo. Any given time, we’ll have a few hundred people in and outside of the community centre. It’s a hub of activity,” he said. “You walk in the door and it’s very busy, and the smell of popcorn and hamburgers and hotdogs are wafting through the space. There’s kids gathered around the candy tables and spending money, and outside we’ve got music playing and there’s hockey games going on for the kids. Just a real party atmosphere.”
Roblin Park Community Centre is located at 640 Pepperloaf Cres. For more a full schedule of activities visit www.roblinpark.org/carnival
Cody Sellar is the reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review West. He is a lifelong Winnipegger. He is a journalist, writer, sleuth, sloth, reader of books and lover of terse biographies. Email him at email@example.com or call him at 204-697-7206.