Plenty of winter fun on Family Day
PETAWAWA – Many military families took advantage of a day off from work and school to celebrate Family Day on Monday.
On Feb. 19, from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., military families and other local community members were treated to the sixth annual Winter Family Festival at Garrison Petawawa.
Despite the rainy weather, hundreds of kids and their parents paraded over to Dundonald Hall where all kinds of fun activities and games were set up all along the outdoor grounds.
The free festivities included horse-drawn carriage rides, axe throwing, snow hills, snowshoeing, roasting marshmallows around a bonfire, selfie photo booths, sled rides provided by a couple of soldiers from Pembroke’s 42 Field Regiment and fireworks to cap off the night.
“We were in the horse ride when the fireworks went off. It added adventure and they got spooked,” said Allison Simmonds who joined in on the festivities with her husband and their daughter Mia.
According to PSP senior manager Nathan Lane, the purpose of the annual event is to give back to soldiers and their families by providing them with a chance to kick back, relax and enjoy some quality fun.
“It’s a partnership between PSP, PMFRC, CANEX and CISIP and this is the sixth annual Winter Family Festival we’ve hosted on Family Day. It's a great thing for the families to do with their kids and while the weather is not 100 per cent cooperating today – with the rain – the temperature is right and it’s a good day,” said Lane. “It’s something for the soldiers to do with their families and everyone always has a good time no matter what the weather is like.”
After working up an appetite from all the activities, attendees were invited to warm up with hot chocolate along with a hot dog or a bowl of homemade chili.
To satisfy their sweet tooth, families lined up at the PMFRC’s maple sugar shack to enjoy authentic maple taffy served by PMFRC staff members and volunteers.
“We love being part of these Family Day Events. It’s so nice to see the smiles on the children’s face and the community coming together and enjoying the outdoors even when it rains,” said Consuela Proulx, information services coordinator with the PMFRC. “We received the maple syrup from Steve Skinner from River Hill Farm who also donated the sticks.”
As the PMFRC team drizzled the boiling maple sap over the packed snow, parents and children eagerly rolled up the taffy on a stick for a truly Canadian experience.