Midwesterner's looking for a little winter revelry should consider heading north of the border in early February.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., has long been a haven for Great Lakes' snow sports enthusiasts. So it's no wonder that it's also home to Ontario's largest winter carnival, Bon Soo, which takes place Feb. 4-13 this winter.
Bon Soo, which has been named one of the country's top 50 festivals, is Canada's second largest winter carnival next to the Montreal Carnivale in Quebec. This marks its 48th season.
There are more than 75 events that take place throughout the 10-day festival that include the whole family; outdoor events, concerts, breakfasts, contests, tournaments, train rides, wagon rides, snow shoeing, snow canoeing, dog sled rides, snow sculptures, and their famous bum slides (Remember the McKenzie Brothers?). It's Canada after all. Just look for the back-bacon to slide on.
There are tribute concerts to Katy Perry and Lady Gaga on Feb 5 for the kids. Tickets are $10 CAN ($10.11 US). For the adults there are Bee Gees and Donna Summer tribute bands on Feb. 12. Tickets are $20 CAN ($20.20 US).
The Bon Soo 2011 Souvenir Button, which is $7 CAN ($7.08 US), allows admission to over 15 events including the Winter Playground for the kids. Each button comes with coupons and a chance to win a trip on the Snow Train, which takes you on a day-long trip to Agawa Canyon in Algoma Central Highlands.
Through Sault Ste. Marie Tourism there are packages for downhill skiing at Searchmont Resort, and cross-country skiing around the Soo.
Downhill packages start from $154 CA ($155.55 US) per person, double occupancy and include two night's accommodations, two day lift tickets and free night skiing on weekends. You can add a third day for $20 CA.
Cross country ski package start from $88 CA ($88.85 US) per person, double occupancy. It includes two nights lodging in the Soo, and day passes for one day of skiing at Stokely Creek and Hiawatha Highlands.