Welcome back

Word that a committee is working hard to resurrect the Li’l Amik Winter Carnival here next month is welcome news.
During its heyday in the mid-1990s, when it was organized by the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce, the winter carnival drew big crowds to such events as the “Frozen Foot” road hockey tournament, jam-pail curling, broomball, slo-pitch, tug-of-war, and arm-wrestling.
“Quest for the Best,” still widely popular today as part of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship festivities, got its start as one of the headline events of the Li’l Amik Winter Carnival all those years ago.
And, of course, there was the Saturday night social.
Next month’s effort, if it goes ahead as scheduled Feb. 25-26, certainly will be on a much-smaller scale. But as the organizers rightly said, it’s better to start small, do it well, and then build momentum into subsequent years when there’s more time to plan.
Ultimately, though, the winter carnival’s success hinges on two things—participation and volunteers. After all, what good is organizing events if no one shows up? As well, how long can the same people be expected to put in the time and effort to pull it off year after year without “fresh blood” lending a helping hand?
That’s what doomed the Li’l Amik Winter Carnival before, and just this week led to the demise of the Rainy River Lions Winter Carnival after years of being a community stalwart there each March.
There’s no reason why Fort Frances can’t stage a successful winter carnival to again rival “Icebox Days” across the river in International Falls. Fortunately, there’s a group of people willing to give it another shot who deserve our thanks—and support.