McCall Winter Carnival is an annual celebration of all things winter held in late January and early February in McCall, Idaho. The carnival, inspired by the Payette Lake Winter Games, has been a symbol of Idaho winter since 1924. The first edition of the winter fest drew only 248 participants. Now it has grown considerably attracting over 60,000 attendees each year.
The local winter tradition started with residents constructing the sculptures in front of their homes. Later on, the sculptures moved to downtown where local businesses supported the spirit of winter fun. McCall snow sculpturing has grown into an event with national recognition and the teams go to compete in international events.
Besides the snow sculpture viewings, the highlights of the McCall Winter Carnival are live music and special events like Torchlight and Mardi Gras Parades. There is plenty of entertainment and fun each day from art and comedy shows to the Monster Dog Pull and snowmobile races. Each year, the events align to a new theme like "Legends, Myths, and Superheroes!", "There's 'Snow' Place Like Home", and "1 Valley, 100 Years."
The famous Mardi Gras Parade of McCall Winter Carnival marches through the streets of McCall on the first Saturday, it is the most crowded day of the carnival.
Week-long festivities bring a lot of excitement for kids and families who can enjoy special activities and rides as well as delicious treats. The culmination of the carnival is fireworks over Payette Lake and the festival's snow and ice sculptures.