Charlottetown's Ice City Festival back in full swing after COVID forced pause

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Discover Charlottetown executive director Heidi Zinn is pleased the Ice City Festival is back up and running after pausing for COVID restrictions. (Travis Kingdon/CBC - image credit)
Discover Charlottetown executive director Heidi Zinn is pleased the Ice City Festival is back up and running after pausing for COVID restrictions. (Travis Kingdon/CBC - image credit)

Charlottetown's winter festival was put on ice this week due to COVID restrictions, but will be extended six days to make up for the pause.

Organizers behind the Ice City Festival, a "distant cousin" of the Jack Frost Festival normally held pre-pandemic, say the past week has been a whirlwind.

The festival was supposed to have events throughout the city last week, but the circuit-breaker restrictions instituted Feb. 27, followed by red-phase restrictions early this week, put the festivities on pause.

The province had announced a two-week stop to indoor dining as part of the bid to stop the sudden jump in cases. But at a pandemic briefing on Wednesday, Premier Dennis King announced restaurants could reopen Thursday.

The current rules limit 50 patrons in a restaurant, no more than six at a table and the establishment must close by 10 p.m.

With in-room dining allowed again, Ice City organizers could restart the festivities, which include outdoor activities as well as food.

"Skating and stuff could have still carried on, but definitely with the in-room dining, a lot of our restaurant partners are having micro-events at their restaurants," said Heidi Zinn, executive director of Discover Charlottetown.

"And certainly, you know, one of the reasons we're doing this is to bring people downtown and get them into the restaurant.... We're super excited to have the programming back."

Charlottetown's Ice City Festival began on Feb. 12 and was slated to run until March 14. Now because of the pause it'll run until March 20.