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Chilling with family

Minus double-digit temperatures didn’t keep thousands of Edmonton families indoors yesterday as they crowded many outdoor Family Day events across the city.

Minus double-digit temperatures didn’t keep thousands of Edmonton families indoors yesterday as they crowded many outdoor Family Day events across the city.

Hundreds poured into Churchill Square to spend time with their families as they watched outdoor dances while sipping hot chocolate during the city’s Winterlight Festival while temperatures hovered around -15 C.

“People in Edmonton won’t let the weather bog them down — this is the climate that we live in,” said Talia Morrissey, an executive assistant with the Winterlight Festival.

“The cold shouldn’t stop us from living our lives.”

Many families laced up their skates at the outdoor ice surface in front of city hall, while others watched musical performances around the square.

Those who decided to escape the cold huddled inside a teepee in front of a warm campfire while others watched dance troupes inside city hall.

Kids were running and laughing outside at the square, enjoying games and other activities that were put on at the festival.

“Today is just a nice day to go outside and keep the kids active,” said Katrina Fleming, whose three young children were all bundled up for the weather. “There is lots of really great things that the city puts on, and this is just really nice.”

Family Day activities were also happening at the Alberta legislature where hundreds of families were offered free tours of the building and magical performances, on top of the skating and wagon rides.

“It’s Family Day,” said performer John E from Churchill Square.

“Everyone is out here with warm winter coats and hats on, and I am enjoying what everyone else is enjoying.”

Alberta was the first province in Canada to celebrate Family Day back in 1990 under then premier Don Getty.

Getty said the holiday was important for Albertans to take time for their families as it’s a day to recognize family values.

Temperatures are expected to reach minus single temperatures this week and the mercury is expected to rise past the freezing mark by Thursday, according to Environment Canada.

 
 
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