|Quartier du Petit Champlain, Quebec City. Sue Frause photo.
The province of Quebec is home to my favorite winter carnival. Now in its 54th year, the Quebec Winter Carnival runs Feb. 1-17, 2008 in Quebec City. Riding high on this year's 400th anniversary celebration of Quebec City, there are some new features.
The redesigned Night Parade will be presented on two Saturdays, February 9 and 16. New allegorical elements include two 24-ft. tall marionettes with moving joints, creative lighting and a unique sound track, multimedia projections and 1,200 new costumes for the extras.
Place Loto-Quebec is the venue for the outdoor dance parties and other entertainment and home of the International Snow Sculpture Competition. It's also the site of Bonhomme's Ice Palace, fashioned this year after Le Chateau de Pau in France, where Henry IV met Champlain to disuss his future excursions to Quebec City.
Other highlights include the Grand Viree (Dog Sled Race) on February 2, the Canoe Race on February 10 and the HBC Snow Bath on February 16.