Winter or Bust: Loving Morden-Winkler This Winter 2019
It is winter. There are burning-cold, crisp days, and wide-open, starlit nights. We think often of warm sweaters, blankets, comfort foods. Sometimes we think of bubble-baths, rooms flickering orange with firelight, hot chocolate. Or we think of wrapping ourselves and staying in, and for the first few days, this is enough.
….But we are human and we get restless. We venture outside. We recognize life continues in -10,-20, -30, and finally, -40. We remember we have thick skin, many of us coming to enjoy these days of frozen eyelashes and snowflakes clinging to our fabric. We remember to be thankful that we are a community that does not shut down and hide away during these months. In fact, there are about 100 reasons why Winkler-Morden is still our favourite place to be through December, through January, through February, and beyond. Why? Join us and find out.
Kicking off the month, Winkler holds its annual ‘From Everywhere to Bethlehem,’ live nativity scene on December 1st and 2nd. Families venture out into the evenings and participate in a live rendition of the night of Jesus’ birth, walking through scenes acted out by members of the community. On December 7th, A Celtic Family Christmas lights up the stage at Winkler’s Centennial Concert Hall.
Walk or Bike Tour of Lights, held on December 18th in downtown Morden, allows residents to take an hour-long tour of the beautiful Christmas decor adorning the city, then invites them inside the Morden Activity Center for free hot chocolate, snacks, and games. There are prizes for decorated bikes as well as festive walkers, making this an ideal family event.
On weekends throughout the month, Mount Nebo Trees offers the classic, authentic Christmas Tree experience. Guests are welcome through December 16th to venture into the Christmas Tree farm, choose, and cut their own tree. There’s a fire pit, hot chocolate and cookies, and a tobogganing hill. A festive holiday experience, to be sure!
December-March is also a great time to get on the ice, with Free Public Skating available once weekly at the Winkler Ice Arena, and twice weekly in Morden’s Access Events Center.
Christmas is over, but rejoice! The days are once again getting longer. Ring in the New Year by staying active and joining a club. Drop-In Badminton, Volleyball, Basketball, Pickleball, and even Table Tennis are available weekly, either in Winkler at the Emerado School, or at Morden’s Access Events Center.
On January 11, the Pembina Hills Arts Center is hosting a Board Game Night, complete with cash bar to get you out and having fun with your neighbours. They also hold Art Talks at the gallery on the third Thursday of every month: January 17th’s feature is an Art Documentary and Discussion.
It’s more active than you think! Aside from the usual events boasting all things love around the middle of the month, February is the home of Morden’s Multicultural Winter Fest, continued club sports, cross country ski events with the Boundary Trails Nordic Club, and weekly fat bike rides with Country Cycle out of Winkler.
Join the Country Cycle group every Thursday evening at 7 pm (headlamps necessary!) at the head of the Lake Minnewasta Trail in Morden for an hour or more of winter riding around the lake. The Boundary Trails Nordic Club hosts several events, the highlight of which being the 10th Annual Distance Cross Country Ski Challenge held on Saturday, February 27th at the Burwalde Woods Trailhead. Come dressed as your favorite province (Manitoba, obviously!), as racers around the country ski a combined distance spanning the entirety of Canada.
Morden’s celebrated Multicultural Winter Fest is held on February 16 this year. It is free for everyone, boasting events both indoor and out. Activities include boot hockey, snow sculpting, sleigh rides and more, with a bonfire and hot drinks to keep you cozy. Crafts, dance demonstrations and cultural entertainment in the Access Events Center give the event additional flair (with the bonus of indoor heat!).
This is the tip of the existential iceberg. The reality is that this community continues to thrive under icy conditions, giving residents and travelers alike reason to celebrate Central Manitoba throughout the blustering winter.
What will you do this season? Will you hide away inside, reading the books offering traditions of Hygge, growing restless? Or will you venture into the season that separates this community from most?
We do not hide in isolation. We get out, we sing, we dance, we skate and play. We make the best of it. We are Winkler-Morden. We are creative, and we are strong. Join us this winter, and #explorewhatwerefamousfor.
Get Fatbiking with Country Cycle: http://countrycycle.ca
Or, cut down your own Christmas Tree this season! https://www.facebook.com/Mount-Nebo-Trees-691618067861152/
Join a club and get active, or keep up to date with Public Skating Times: http://www.mordenmb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2019-WINTER-SPRING-BROCHURE-update.pdf
Participate in one of their events, or just go for a ski with the Boundary Trails Nordic Ski Club! https://btncski.wordpress.com