Flannel Fest returns this year with a week full of contests, events, entertainment and, of course, a Kimberley-sized heap of flannel.

Flannel Fest returns for year five as weeklong event starting Feb. 19

Full week of virtual and in-person contests, events and entertainment in store

Starting Feb. 19 Flannel Fest is back for its fifth year and this year will run for an entire week, as organizers continue with their annual tradition of packing more and more contests, events and fun into what’s become a beloved Kimberley festival.

Organizers have given this year a delightfully alliterative moniker: Flannel Fest Five: A Fantastically Fun Family Friendly Festival, An F-In Good Time.

READ MORE: The 2022 Kimberley Flannel Fest

“We are trying to do our best to include more businesses and groups that perhaps can’t make it on the Saturday, so we figured each evening of the week we’re doing our best to have an event,” explained organizer James Archie Archibald. “We’ve got a lot of people who have come forward and created some events but we’re always looking for new events.”

He added that anyone in town with an idea for an event is welcome to do it, provided they have run it past the organizers and have their permission.

“W’re always here for support and can always help in any way possible, so just making it easier for anyone who wants to make an event just to make Flannel Fest bigger,” Archibald said. “It’s a community event so we’re hoping the community takes part a little bit more this year and that’s kind of our idea for the week-long event.”

One of the big ones this year is the Chubby Wheels Winter Relay fat bike event, which will take place on a ten-kilometre track set up in Lois Creek with the finish line happening at the old garage, now Amazon pick up location at 3 Boundary Road, where there will be live bands and beer provided by Overtime at the finish

The event is headed by Julie Gamache and registration can be done through the Kimberley Trails Society.

The online component of the event is also back this year with such fan-favourite contests as the Shirley Rossi Backyard Snow Sculpture contest, Kimberley’s Best Beard, the Kimberley Kritters Best Dressed Pet, the Royal Flannel Couple to name just a few.

This year there will also be a Teck Snow Sculpture Walk; organizers will rope off six separate areas where any group or individuals can build snow scultpures throughout the week before Flannel Fest, and the weekend of the event it will all be lit up and there will be a scultpure walk to check them all out.

More details on all of those events can be found on the Flannel Fest Facebook page, but one important thing to note is that for for all photo contests, be sure to include aFF23 tag on all photo submissions so judges know that it is a recent image.

Another returning one is the photo contest. Last year’s theme was “icicles” and this year’s is a Kootenay Night Theme and the contest is open to all residents of Kimberley, Cranbrook and the surrounding area.

Some of the new events include a flannel speed climb competition at Spirit Rock, a Sunlife-sponsored tug-of-war contest and a Burrito Grill Burrito Rolling Contest.

There will also be fire spinners, beer gardens, a flannel exchange, a flannel pet parade, open mics, Saturday markets, a baked bean contest happening at The Bean Tree Cafe, and lots more still in the works.

“We do have a party which we’re going to be announcing pretty soon, with live DJs from 4 to 8, so we’re trying to recreate all those great summer music festivals into a winter theme and to create, perhaps, one of western Canada’s most unique outdoor, winter dance festivals,” Archibald said.

Archibald added that people are calling every day with new ideas, so be sure to check facebook.com/kimberleywinterflannelfest to keep up with everything that’s announced.

They are also always looking for more ideas, more sponsorships, more prize donations and volunteers. If interested, message the Facebook page, or email info@rmep.ca


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