Despite snow and slush, there is going to be a little bit of springtime in Elmira this Family Day.
With Winter in Bloom, community groups are coming together to fight the winter blues on Monday. This is the second year the event is being held at the Woolwich Memorial Centre, where it’ll be open to the whole community.
Helen Grainger of the Elmira and District Horticultural Society says the event started last year as just a fun idea for families in Elmira.
“We have these spray bottles filled with red, green and blue food colouring and water. As families came in to the WMC, whether it was for the free skate or to go swimming, we invited them to take these bottles and spray some colourful gardens in the snow,” she said. “Everybody that did it told us what a great idea it was, so we just had to do it again this year.”
What started as a small idea has grown into a full-day event – it starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m.
“It was an idea that Carl Thompson from the Kiwanis Club came up with. He approached us at the horticultural society because he thought that painting colourful gardens was in keeping with what we do,” she said. “Then Randy Smith from the Optimist Club had some chili that we thought would be good to serve.”
Winter in Bloom adds a little colour to the dreary white and grey snow and slush.
“It is just such a fun activity for the whole family. We are hoping for a bit more snow, though,” said Grainger. “We had someone tell us they are going to be doing a snow-dance for more snow to fall before Monday, but I am not sure how well that is going to work.”
The long-term forecast is calling for warm temperatures and lots of sunshine for Family Day. However, even if there isn’t very much snow, there will still be lunch. At 1 p.m., the Optimist Club will be serving up chili dogs for a donation.
Grainger says this is just the beginning of Winter in Bloom, with the different community groups brainstorming some more ideas for next year.
“It is just a fun thing for people to do. We are just beginning and we have so many ideas that we are just beginning to talk about for the years after this,” she said. “Now, we are just planting the seeds and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Also at the WMC on Family Day, Feb. 20, the Elmira Sugar Kings Junior B team will be facing off against the Kitchener Dutchmen at 2 p.m. Ticket prices for the game are reduced for children. There is also a free skate (10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) and free swimming (11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1:30-3:30 p.m.).