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Yellowknife’s 29th snow castle opens – and this year there are tunnels

Dozens of people braved the cold on Saturday for the opening of Yellowknife’s snow castle.

“SnowKing” Anthony Foliot sawed open the snow castle door at noon on Saturday, while the temperature in Yellowknife was -30 C, with a wind chill making it feel like -43.

 Once everyone was inside the castle, there was a drum dance with music from the Yellowknives Dene Drummers.

The festivities marked the beginning of the 29th annual SnowKing Winter Festival in the Northwest Territories capitol. The festival will run from March 2 to March 29, and include a variety of live performances, all of which will take place inside the snow castle.

Kids climb rope bridge from ground to the top of a short wall made of snow
Kids climb a rope bridge that leads to some slides. (Sarah Krymalowski/CBC)

This year’s castle features design elements inspired by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, and a network of kid-size tunnels.

Emilyn Friesen, 7, attended the opening ceremony for the snow castle this year for the first time.

She said she was excited to explore, despite the cold – especially those tunnels. “I wanna get lost,” she said.

Man saws door into snow wall while kids watch
“Snowking” Anthony Foliot saws a door into this year’s snow castle during the opening ceremony for the 2024 SnowKing Winter Festival in Yellowknife. (Sarah Krymalowski/CBC)

Many children and adults wait in a line to enter a door made of snow
A long line of people wait to explore this year’s snow castle in Yellowknife on the opening day of the SnowKing Winter Festival. (Sarah Krymalowski/CBC)

Man gives a speach in front of a wall made of snow while many people watch.
“SnowKing” Anthony Foliot gives opening remarks at the opening ceremony for the 29th snow castle in Yellowknife. (Sarah Krymalowski/CBC)

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