Edmontonians have been put in a deep freeze over the last few weeks, but organizers behind a winter festival on Alberta Avenue are expecting thousands to chill in warmer weather during the weekend-long event beginning Saturday.

Environment Canada says temperatures will reach into the positive single digits by Saturday, just in time for the annual Deep Freeze: Byzantine Winter Festival put on by Arts on the Ave, a group devoted to change the troubled neighbourhood into an Edmonton arts hub.

Christy Morin, a director with Arts on the Ave, says more than 1,200 people flocked to 118 Avenue for the first festival last year and it was only held for one day.

“As soon as it warms up, we’ll have a lot of people out,” said Morin.

“This year, we’re adding outdoor curling and outdoor skating to reach out to a variety of Edmontonians.”

The festival’s centrepiece will feature ice sculptors from the Sculptors’ Society of Alberta’s One Block Challenge competition.

The festival will also have “Winter Light” warming tents that will offer musical and theatrical performances.

“This event shows once again that Alberta Avenue is full of artists,” said Morin.
For more information on the festival, check out www.artsontheave.org.

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