Let's go for the Carnaval de Québec: here are five things to know for the first weekend of the festivities

Let's go for the Carnival of Quebec: here are five things to know for the first weekend of the festivities

MISE & Agrave; DAY

After Friday's false start caused by the cold snap, Mayor Bruno Marchand will symbolically hand over the keys to the City to Bonhomme on Saturday morning, kicking off the 69th presentation of the Carnaval de Québec. Enthusiasm is at its height for this first “normal” edition for three years, even if the biting temperatures will continue to play spoilsport on Saturday. Here are five things to know to make the most of this first weekend of the festivities.

On Wednesday, workers were putting the finishing touches on the Palais de Bonhomme, in the upper town.


The traditional canoe race officially returns to the Port of Quebec on Sunday, which could not take place due to health rules in 2021 and 2022. “With the temperatures announced on Sunday, it is perfect for the ice to be sufficiently present and that the boaters can operate”, underlines Charles-André Paris, head of operations at the Carnival. >

New this year, Camping de Bonhomme Videotron offers, among other things, a virtual race in golf karts, a 30-foot ice mountain and a ball pool under a giant igloo. At Place D’Youville, the 500-foot-long urban slide should also appeal to thrill seekers. In many areas of Quebec, it will also be possible to discover the snow and ice sculptures of the Scotiabank Spree. 


The noticeable absence of night parades for two years is now a thing of the past. Saturday evening, the activity makes its big comeback in the lower town. From 5:30 p.m., more than 300 artists and nine different sequences will stroll down 3rd Avenue in Limoilou in a show lasting approximately 35 minutes that is intended to be “rhythmic” and “dancing”. An after-parade will take place until 11 p.m. with the participation of merchants and circus artists. A second parade will take place next Saturday on Grande Allée.


This 69th edition of the largest winter carnival in the world could well be one of the most musical ever held.

With its heated stage and its new dome in the heart of the Palais de Bonhomme, no less than five major evenings are offered, including two at the weekend: the Franco Videotron Evening with Alfa Rococo and Ariane Moffatt, Saturday evening, and the Electro Frette Videotron, Sunday, with artists Domeno, Zagata, Mandiz, Vlouue and Borgeous. The latter, an American DJ, is particularly known for his track Tsunami which achieved worldwide recognition in 2013.


On this first official day of Carnival, the weather continues to cast a shadow over the event. Regional Public Health said in a statement that the temperature felt could reach -33 on Saturday, so vulnerable groups, including elementary and preschool children, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses, “should even avoid to participate in the activities of the Carnaval de Québec”. Precaution is required for all participants, insist the health authorities.

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