Best time to go to Idaho

McCall Winter Carnival 2021

An iconic winter festival running since the 1920s


Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin
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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.

Original Valley County Residents 2020
Original Valley County Residents

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.

McCall Winter Carnival in Idaho - Best Season 2020

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."

Best time for McCall Winter Carnival in Idaho 2020

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.

Best time to see McCall Winter Carnival in Idaho 2020
Best time for McCall Winter Carnival 2020

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.

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