One of the most popular events at the Greely Winter Carnival was the horse-drawn wagon rides. The weather was great for an afternoon of fun and a sleigh ride in the snow, bundled up and as warm as toast. Tinkess Photo

GREELY – The Greely Winter Carnival celebrated its 50th anniversary, and despite the weather not cooperating fully, smiles were plentiful, and the events were well attended, in some cases more so than ever before.

The event took place at the Greely Community Centre, located at 1448 Meadow Drive in the south Ottawa community of Greely. Activities ran from Thurs., Jan. 26 through to Sun., Jan. 29.

Mild and snowy weather earlier in the week meant the main rink was not yet ready for use (apparently a couple more floods were needed), but a second, unenclosed ice surface saw a lot of use from kids of all ages.

Saturday was the day things really got rolling, starting off with a hot pancake breakfast prepared by the firefighters, and a magic show performed by Dr. Kaboom.

Outside, activities were commencing as well, with skating on the second ice surface, horse drawn wagon rides and a chance to sit around an open fire and just socialize. If you still had room after filling up on breakfast, the Beavertail mobile kitchen was on scene serving a selection of their tasty treats.

Saturday evening was designed with the adults in mind. It started off with a mix and mingle session at 5:30 p.m. where friends and neighbours could have an opportunity to catch-up with what has been going on. This was followed at 6:30 p.m. by a buffet dinner, hosted by Orchardview Wedding and Conference Centre.

At 8:30 p.m. guests were entertained with a stand-up comedy performance by Absolute Comedy, and at 10:00 p.m. live musical entertainment was provided by local musician Kevin Choffee.

According to event organizer Linda Brayman, the interest in the Saturday evening dinner and entertainment was amazing. “It is the biggest turnout ever for tonight,” said Brayman. “150 people, almost double what we would normally have, and with people who are just coming for the comedy, that’s another 20, so 170 plus whoever shows up at the door.

“I’ve been involved with this event for a long time, and this is the biggest crowd ever.”

Isabelle Skalski is the president of the Greely Community Association. She says it is rewarding to see the community take part in events that are planned for them.

“It’s been wonderful. People are really grateful to be able to have things in their own back yard,” says Skalski.“There’s just six of us, so nothing’s perfect but at the end of the day I’d say that things have really come together. People support us, and the community supports us with the assistance of the firefighters, the Lion’s Club; you can’t ask for anything more than that.”