Friendly competition at the Crysler Winter Carnival This year’s Crysler Winter Carnival featured its traditional Red versus Blue community carnival competition. Martine Quesnel, on the left is a member of the Blue team. Here she is squaring off with Red team member Linda Smith at the entrance to the Crysler Community Centre Friday evening. At the end of the carnival it was announced that the Blue Team had won the competition for 2023.  Thompson Goddard Photo

 CRYSLER – There was a lot of magic in the air during the 2023 Crysler Winter Carnival held on Feb. 16-19 in this small North Stormont community. From the community events that opened the carnival, to the closing fireworks, people of all ages were to enjoy a multitude of events during the 57th annual Crysler Winter Carnival.

One of these events was the annual red vs blue teams’ friendly competition that began shortly before the carnival, with team members encouraged to decorate their homes in their respective team colours.  This friendly competition began approximately a decade ago with residents to the north of the Nation River adopting the colour blue and those living south of the river, members of the red team. Throughout the carnival, there are points provided to each team for participating in various activities and events.  This year, red and blue lanyards were available for sale, with proceeds going to the Crysler Community Centre. Post carnival events announced the blue side had accumulated the most points and won the 2023 competition.

The carnival began on Wed., Feb. 15, with a well attended community bingo at the Crysler Community Centre, continued the following evening, with a very successful Ladies Night Uncorked & Unwind which featured award winning comedian Rachelle Elie, several vendors and many participants enjoying some wine and cheese.

“The food was fantastic, the hall full and it’s the best way for us to stay warm during the dead of winter!” commented North Stormont Coun. Adrian Bugelli during the Meet & Greet Dinner held on Fri., Feb. 17. Those attending the Friday evening of the carnival enjoyed a French Canadian supper menu, with the magic of Eric Marcotte and Ian Quick performed to individual guests during the meal. Diners were able to enjoy tortière (meat pie), Ragoùt de pattes de cochon (pork stew) with beef meatballs and Pouding aux chômeur (poor man’s pudding) a traditional French Canadian cake dessert.

Following dinner, Louis Racine & Les Pourquoi Pas Group entertained the crowd with French Canadian singing and square dancing. There was no lack of people from all age groups on the dance floor following the square dance calls by Racine, with audience members joining in from their seat by clapping and tapping their feet.

Saturday at the carnival featured several activities for people of all ages including craft projects, a magic show, cupcake decorating, an Animal Kingdom Challenge, Tony’s Rockathon and an evening dance featuring country rock band “Boots ‘n’ All”, with Bonhomme Carnaval making appearances throughout Saturday and Sunday.

The Friends of the Crysler Library provided a craft opportunity, with participants able to create an animal mask to colour with either a red or blue ribbon tied to it when completed. “It was so great to see so many new faces” during the event commented Friends of the Crysler Library (FCL) group Lynne Laflèche. She continued almost all of the 150 masks created were used during the event, noting that student volunteers for the FCL were former participants carnival and community library events.

The Great Arjunia’s Magic followed the craft event, with a fantastic turnout for the event, while outside, people were able to visit a mobile farm petting zoo from Sunrise Country Farm featuring Rosie the pony, Bruce the steer, Suzy the goat, Eboni the pig and a rabbit named Camilla. After lunch, there were other events for people of all ages to enjoy, with Tony’s Rockathon beginning at 5 p.m. and the evening finishing with a well attended dance featuring “Boots ‘n All”.  During the dance, a jail fundraiser was added, with various individuals having their “bail” provided and raising $1,546 for the Winchester & District Memorial Hospital.

Tony’s Rockathon, a carnival staple for many years, is a legacy from Tony Briere who ran several rockathon events raising funds. “Once again, this year, I participated in the Crysler’s Rock-a-thon.

It was 24 hours of great laughs, card playing and carrying on Tony Briere’s legacy.

Along with good memories, we raised over $1,800 to go toward the ODR,” commented North Stormont Mayor François Landry.

Sunday morning featured a community breakfast, storyteller Timm Holmes and outdoor events such as snowshoeing followed by Tony’s Rockathon ending at 5 p.m., a spaghetti supper and a fireworks’ display completing the 2023 Crysler Winter Carnival.

Carnival Committee chair Barbara D’Agostini expressed her thanks to the community business and individuals who made donations to the carnival, as well as to the volunteers who worked to ensure its success.

“I would like to recognize this year’s committee for their effort and countless hours to make this happen. Also, in recognition of the community, if the crowds were any indication, the Crysler winter carnival of 2023 was an astounding success. Once again, congratulations on a job well done,” commented North Stormont Mayor François Landry.

There can be little doubt in the minds of anyone who attended the 2023 Crysler Winter Carnival that the work of the Carnival Committee, which begins early in the fall, resulted in a fun-filled five-day carnival for visitors and residents alike.