‘Come out in the win­ter’

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mu­nity en­gage­ment. You know, have peo­ple come out in the win­ter, when you can get kind of house-bound,” says Levy, who hopes the myr­iad of in­door and out­door events will get peo­ple of ev­ery age group to­gether and in­ter­act­ing with one another.

“We’re look­ing at pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to so­cial­ize.”

Run­ning from Feb. 15-19, all the favourite events are com­ing back. There’s the an­nual busi­ness chal­lenge, where busi­ness own­ers and their staff mem­bers will com­pete for the pres­ti­gious Palooza Cup, and on Fri­day, the se­nior’s day meet up re­turns to the com­mu­nity cen­tre, com­plete with a meal of homemade soup, a crib­bage tour­na­ment, and a 50/50 draw.

For chil­dren and their fam­i­lies, the Fam­ily Fun Day is the high­light of the car­ni­val. Lo­cal teen vol­un­teers will run the car­ni­val games, paint faces and over­see the bouncy cas­tle. At $5 a child, Levy says the town tries very hard to make the Fam­ily Fun Day an af­ford­able week­end event for fam­i­lies. There are other ben­e­fits, too.

“The youth re­ally lead the ac­tiv­i­ties of the Fam­ily Fun Days,” says Levy. “The teens are build­ing their lead­er­ship skills and learn­ing about events plan­ning.”

Speak­ing of the youth, one of the most re­cent ad­di­tions to the car­ni­val is the HCYA Cof­fee House, cel­e­brat­ing its fourth year this year. Run by the Hants County Youth Am­bas­sadors, the cof­fee house pro­vides a nice hang­out spot for lo­cal teens, and gives lo­cal mu­si­cians a stage.

Levy thinks this could be a big year for the youth side of the car­ni­val; due to the work-to-rule job ac­tion taken by the prov­ince’s teach­ers, a lot of kids have gone with­out ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties. Though, she ad­mits, that’s the op­ti­mistic out­look.

“We do a lot of our pro­mo­tion through the school, and that’s an area we’re not able to reach the kids, be­cause it’s not like we can give out fliers to the school kids - nor­mally, the teach­ers would give them out,” says Levy, who says teach­ers are not help­ing with pro­mo­tion this year due to the job ac­tion.

“It’s not like they have their school dances or their ac­tiv­i­ties, so we are hop­ing that we’ll see more chil­dren par­tic­i­pate, maybe, as a re­sult. But the other flip-side of that is not be­ing able to ac­cess to schools to get the word out.”

Levy has been try­ing other meth­ods to reach out to the younger crowd, be­tween bill­boards and so­cial me­dia. But un­til the week­end comes, she says she’ll have to wait and see.

Re­gard­less, she hopes any­one and ev­ery­one from Wind­sor, the neigh­bour­ing area, and re­ally any­one who wants to make the jour­ney, will have a great time at this year’s car­ni­val – with all the ac­tiv­i­ties avail­able, she can’t re­ally see how you’d fail to.

“There’s some­thing about be­ing out in the fresh, crisp air, and tak­ing in the fire­works,” says Levy. “Get out of your house - you don’t have to stay in just be­cause it’s win­ter.”

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