2023 14-2 April Community

The return of Winterfest

By Nadia Stuewer

Family Day dawned grey and forbidding this year. Mid-morning it rained and snowed. Organizers from the Lowertown East Residents Committee (LERC) were tense. Would the first Lowertown Winterfest in three years be rained out? But the skies cleared and the sun came out on cue as the festivities began at Jules Morin Park at 1 p.m. The sunny skies reflected smiles on people’s faces. The president of the Lowertown Community Association, Sylvie Bigras, commented that it was “so lovely to see the happiness on all the faces.” Organizers estimate that 250 children and adults attended the annual Family Day event.

Organizers estimate that 250 children and adults attended the annual Family Day event.
The bouncy castle was a big success. It brought smiles to the children who bounced in it. Cundell Stables offered very popular horse and wagon rides. The line was always long. Adham Al-Rachidi of Ottawa Community Housing cooked up 300 halal chicken hotdogs, all of which disappeared into hungry tummies. Councillor Stéphanie Plante offered hot chocolate and donuts, while staff from MPP Lucille Collard’s office served up popcorn.

Photos: Abby Andre

The staff and volunteers at the Lowertown Community Resource Centre’s community house informed residents how to reduce waste by using items such as canned beans in a simple nutritious manner. Sixty-four residents participated in the activity and expressed their appreciation of the initiative.

The Ottawa Community Housing Foundation joined Winterfest and gave out flying-saucer sleds much to the delight of the kids, who test drove them on the towering snowbanks around the park. Bright red socks, toques and Ottawa Senators’ flags were also popular gifts. Unfortunately, due to ice conditions the traditional hockey game between the Ottawa Police Service and Lowertown’s youth, who always triumph, could not take place.

LERC thanks its volunteers from De La Salle High School and Lowertown Youth Connected and its other community partners.