The Arborg Ice Carnival used to be on a Sunday, part of a weekend of family friendly events during – usually – the coldest time of the year.
There was a corporate challenge with different winter events, such as wood chopping, curling, sponge hockey, big ball soccer, snow sculpture building, smooshing races and more.
Arborg would sometimes manage to snag a CKY-TV personality. One year cameras scanned one of the events and captured one of my school/skating friends chanting “Let’s go, Legion, let’s go.” When we realized the camera was on us, we were so excited! We were disappointed when it didn’t air that night, but still, it was a cool moment.
Back then, the Arborg Winter Carnival wrapped with the Arborg Skating Club’s carnival/ice show, whichever word you prefer. Complete with the crowning of the carnival queen and king. Eventually, the king was phased out, and same with the queen.
Looking back on those carnivals, the rink was packed to capacity. People lined the arena walls and filled the stands. During the finale, there would be a balloon drop, and the skaters would be showered with balloons. Kids would jump over the boards (days before plexi glass) and they’d stomp on them. Of course, with toe picks, we’d pop a few as well.
The final balloon drop was 1986. Vinyl balloons and (finally) artificial ice don’t mix.
Even then, parents, family, and friends froze in the stands as they cheered on their skater(s), who they blinded with their flash cameras. Parents thought this could be the only time their child would be dressed as a lollipop, baker, Irish girl, strawberry, gingerbread person, pirate, or lion. Such a priceless moment.
Starting in 1989, skaters would step onto the ice with, “our next skater won a gold medal in the Interlake Interpretive Competition,” or “a bronze medal in elementary ladies at Regionals.” It’s a feeling of satisfaction and achievement.
Then, the carnival concluded, and we’d wait.
You wait for the Interlake Spectator to come out with the highlights of the winter carnival. It was a thrill to be in the paper. Local, provincial, or national, it didn’t matter. You’re in the paper.
This year, the Arborg Skating Club will be holding their ice show on March 14. The theme is Just Dance 2014, and it will feature this generation of “our next skater won a gold medal at STARSkate provincials,” and “a silver medallist at STARSkate provincials” and “placed 10th in level 1 at the Manitoba Winter Games.”
The Arborg Skating Club secured Bree Langlais from the Selkirk Figure Skating Club to guest skate. Langlais placed fifth at the Skate Manitoba Sectionals in Senior Women this season.
STARSkaters will skate their free programs and group number to music that will get your toes tapping and fingers snapping. Skaters who are sure to entertain are Sarah Jensen, Natasha English, Eva Jensen, Olivia Orbanski, Kayla Weik, and Jenica Sul. These skaters are planning programs to Madonna’s Vogue, Pink Panther, Black Swan, Micheal Jackson’s Thriller, Tango, and New York, New York.
CanSkate, STARSkate, and Rising STAR skaters will perform numbers to the Jitterbug, a Conga Line, Hula, YMCA, 1960s Go Go Dance, Footloose, and more.
The ice show starts at 7 p.m., and arrive early for a good seat. And don’t skip out early. The last number is the Macarena. Relive the 1990s and get those arms ready!
Interlake Spectator, 1990
Interlake Spectator, 1991
Photos, Personal Archives