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Half a Century of Winter Fun

Sandpoint’s Winter Carnival returns for its 50th year! By Jillian Chandler

Sandpoint’s Winter Carnival

“Each year, the goal behind the Winter Carnival is to promote economic vitality in our region of Idaho and to show off how amazing our local businesses are. We hope the public takes away a sense of magic and looks forward to exploring more next year,” states Keely Gray of the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.


2023 marks the Winter Carnival’s 50th year, and according to Keely, they are hoping to make the 50th Parade “the biggest little hometown parade of all, with a record number of floats!”


When it comes to what many in the community most look forward to during the 10-day event, it is two-fold, according to Keely. “As this is usually a slow time for our area, our businesses appreciate the bump in tourism. As a community member, I look forward to the kickoff event of the Parade and the after-party outside of Pend d’Oreille Winery.

Schweitzer usually always has tubing and twilight skiing, which is always a hit.”


To stay up to date with all the happenings going on throughout the duration of the event, be sure to visit the chamber’s website and social media pages, where they encourage locals and tourists alike to get out and about in town to experience all the fun to be had. “It’s a fun excuse to celebrate how much we have to offer and gives our businesses time to shine,” smiles Keely. “The goal is that there is something for everyone to choose from to enjoy the season.”


As for the highlight of the carnival, there are certainly just too many to count! “I think everyone has a different event they look forward to every year, but the K9 Keg Pull is one that is so unique and fun,” says Keely. “Who doesn’t love puppies!?”


The event could not be realized without the support of the community, both individuals and businesses alike. Though there are many, some of Sandpoint Winter Carnival’s tried-and-true partners over the years include: Eichardt’s Pub, Schweitzer Mountain, Pend d’Oreille Winery, 219 Lounge, Mickduff’s, Ting Fiber internet (who is also the top sponsor and partner for 2023), the Downtown Shopping District and the City of Sandpoint.


“We hope our 50th is the best yet and everyone enjoys all Sandpoint has to offer,” shares Keely.


Mark your calendars for this year’s Winter Carnival, happening February 17 through 26.


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