Carnival’s main events this weekend

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Dressed in their furs and leathers, the Viking Divas strive to keep the townspeople of Whitefish safe from the mischievous Yetis. Top row, from left, they are Amy Meyer, Jennifer Watson and Sara Straka. In front are Sarah Stafford and Shannon Havens. (Jeremy Weber/Daily Inter Lake)

Winter Carnival weekend in Whitefish is legendary. For 61 years the annual festival has drawn thousands of visitors to Whitefish to celebrate winter.

This year’s main events are slated for Feb. 8-9. The theme for this year’s Winter Carnival is “The Roaring 2020s.”

This year’s Royalty includes King Ullr LXI Scotty MacLaren and Queen of Snows Gayle MacLaren, along with Prime Minister Marcus Duffey and Duchess of Lark Sara Straka, and Prince Frey Riley Gulick and Princess Freya Regan Retz.

Saturday’s events begin with the Whitefish Kiddie Carnival at Whitefish Middle School. There will be prizes and fun beginning at 10 a.m. and running until 1:30 p.m. The event will be full of activities for both children and community members. This annual event is run by the Whitefish High School Leo Club, a division of the Lions Club.

The Penguin Plunge is also Saturday at 11 a.m. at City Beach. Conducted by the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the Polar Plunge benefits Special Olympics Montana. Visit www.somt.org/plunge or call 406-216-5327 or 800-242-6876 for more information.

The City of Whitefish had planned to host a Snow Sculpture Showdown at Depot Park, but the lack of quality snow in town due to persistent warm temperatures and rain negatively impacted the snow reserves set aside for the event.

The Whitefish Winter Carnival Pie Social is from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at St. Charles Borromeo in Whitefish. Pie and coffee are for sale.

The Grand Parade begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday as thousands of spectators line Central Avenue. The Grand Marshals lead floats, animal groups, dancers, drill teams, royalty, and many more entries to delight the crowd. The parade route follows Second Street to Spokane Avenue, then turns onto Central Avenue in front of Depot Park before exiting on Third Street.

The Rotary Club of Whitefish, in partnership with the Whitefish Credit Union, is offering their pancake breakfast on Sunday, Feb. 9 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge. The breakfast is free to all veterans and their immediate families. Everyone else is $10.

For more information, visit www.whitefishwintercarnival.com.

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