NewsIdaho Backroads


The return of the McCall Winter Carnival creates a big boost for local businesses

Posted at 12:41 PM, Jan 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-29 14:41:00-05

MCCALL, Idaho — The McCall Winter Carnival has returned after a one-year hiatus because of the pandemic, this classic event in the Idaho mountains lasts through next weekend.

The ice sculptures at a variety of businesses are always a highlight at the carnival and we caught up with a family who had their picture taken on a throne of ice, click here for a map of the sculptures in Valley County.

"We love them they are amazing," said Sariah Wilson. "We have family visiting from New York and we are visiting from Boise we are happy to be here I have wanted to come see it for quite a few years."

Local businesses are also excited to welcome people back to Valley County as this marks the most important tourism stretch of the winter and we spoke with the owner of Cafe 6 Three 4 who won first place in the ice sculpting contest with their return to the sea display.

"We love first place it will bring more people to our business and we invite everyone down to just hang out," said Lynn Johnson a native of McCall. "We have been pretty busy all day making coffees, making delicious fresh food and pastries."

The McCall Winter Carnival offers people a lot of things to do from live music, to shopping, there are a bunch of vendors down by Payette Lake and some happening nightlife.

But this area also provides fun ways to enjoy the outdoors the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge starts on Tuesday, Tamarack and Brundage are close by for skiers and snowboarders, there are several places to try out nordic skiing and many rental shops that can provide snowmobiles.

McCall residents just ask people to respect the area, the ice sculptures are marked with signs on whether people can climb on them or not, for example, the ice throne has a message telling people it is ok to sit on it. There have been instances of sculptures being vandalized in the past.

"Thanks for coming up and be kind, that’s all we ask," said Johnson. "Come to McCall enjoy the environment kickback because we are in a kicked back time frame up on the mountain."

The McCall Winter Carnival lasts through next weekend and for those looking to avoid the crowds a visit during the middle of the week will have fewer people.