Winter sports action madness at BARBEGAZI fest

Jamie O'Meara

Jamie O'Meara is Editor-in-Chief at C2 Montréal and the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

This article was updated on February 26, 2020.

For the outdoor fun fan, just in terms of the sheer amount of crazy activities alone, it doesn’t get better than Montréal’s BARBEGAZI Winter Action Sports Festival. The one-of-a-kind, all ages, family friendly event that’s free for all returns for an eighth edition in 2020 with, true to form, a few extra added tricks up its winter coat sleeves.

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MTL’s hot cold-weather outdoor sports fest

Taking its title from mythical, gnome-like creatures with long beards that reside in the French and Swiss Alps and spend their leisure hours surfing on avalanches with their enormous feet, the all-ages BARBEGAZI Winter Action Sports Festival takes place March 7 and 8, from noon until 4 p.m. And best of all, the fest — which happens against the dramatic backdrop of Montréal’s Olympic Stadium on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park — is free for everyone. And while avalanche surfing isn’t yet on the sched for this edition of BARBEGAZI, it wouldn’t feel out of place amongst the craziness.

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A winter funderland for all

The term “participaction” has an extra element of promise when it comes to Montréal’s one-of-a-kind BARBEGAZI Winter Action Sports Festival. The activity-packed event is a place where everyone can try wild winter sports like fat bike racing and snowskating. For example, snowskating (which are, essentially, skateboards without wheels) will again be a featured component of BARBEGAZI festivities. Regardless of age, those who miss the skatepark in the winter are invited to try out this unique and challenging activity with the help of specialized instructors. If biking is more your thing, fat bikes — featuring large (fat) tires that allow better handling on unstable ground like the sand, mud and especially snow — will be on hand so you can take on some of the challenges that are planned. And the lumberjack activities, where competitors are invited to saw their way to victory, are an always popular way for folks to unleash their inner woodswoman or man.

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More fun than you can chuck an axe at

When it comes to offering imaginative events and activities, BARBEGAZI is never short on ideas. In addition to the aforementioned, this year attendees can participate in the Stump Game (involves a tree stump, a hammer, a nail and accuracy), fir tree tossing (self-explanatory), snowball slingshots, arm-wrestling competitions, an obstacle course, axe throwing and more. And if chucking all that stuff worked up an appetite, you can get your energy, and your core temperature, up with hot meals available from a food truck, or take a warm break around one of the festival’s fire pits. For more information about programming and other activities, be sure to visit the BARBEGAZI website.

Jamie O'Meara

Jamie O'Meara is Editor-in-Chief at C2 Montréal and the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

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