After three successful weekends, Winterlude is over for another year. And organizers couldn’t be happier with the way the 32nd annual event went.
Although this year wasn’t a survey year for the event, the National Capital Commission is estimating that the festival had more than 600,000 unique visitors generating more than one million visits.
“We had great levels of attendance at all the sites,” said Guy Laflamme, vice-president, capital experience, marketing and communications at the NCC. “All of the new activities we provided were extremely well-received by the public.”
These included Olympic-themed events to coincide with the Winter Games in Vancouver.
Olympic efforts at Winterlude included a flash mob, TV monitors installed inside skate shacks along the Rideau Canal Skateway and snowboarding and freestyle demonstrations by past Olympians in Jacques-Cartier Park.
Yesterday, the NCC, along with area speedskating clubs, allowed the public to try out the sport on an Olympic-sized oval at Dow’s Lake and cheered on Ottawa’s Kristina Groves as she prepared for her 1,500-metre race.
“The Olympics have had a favourable impact on Winterlude,” said Laflamme. “It gets people into the spirit and into a more active mode.”