There’s an affirming sense of community here. You see it in the families who are ice skating on a community rink and on the faces of people snowmobiling across the frozen belly of the Snye River, towards the remote trails on its opposite shore. Most of all you see it in the 10-day long WinterPLAY festival, which also happens along the Snye and at other venues in town.
You catch the festival’s beloved community pond hockey game, the Shootout on the Snye, which has been played annually for decades; you also attend a freestyle snowboarding competition called the Snowdown on the Snye. Young snowboarders get big air, spinning big tricks, tweaking grabs, and sliding handrails. It’s a thrill to watch such skill seem effortless. These aren’t just small events. Over the course of the festival, thousands attend and take part.