Smiles and laughter warmed downtown Brantford on Saturday as Frosty Fest brought hundreds of people to the city core.
Snowflakes fell as children glided across the Harmony Square skating rink, lapped up frozen maple syrup and commandeered their very own horse-drawn carriage.
Four years after the city first asked Freedom House Church to run a free winter festival, the annual event has only grown bigger and more popular, said lead pastor Brian Beattie.
“We want to do as many things as we can in the city,” Beattie said.
Some parents did a double take when told that there was no charge for games, outdoor ice slides and bouncy castles in the basement of Market Square. Seeing parents smile as widely as their children is what Frosty Fest is all about, Beattie said.
“Our goal is to transform the city, as Captain Kindness would say, by good into good,” he said.
Captain Kindness himself – also known as Freedom House’s Dave Carrol – and his sidekick, Kid Kindness, welcomed visitors to the three-day festival. Carrol sees Frosty Fest as a chance to make the city a kinder place in the dead of winter.
“We believe that if you see a need in the city and you fill it, you transform your city for the better,” he said.
Saturday featured the first of three figure skating shows by national junior bronze medalists Mary Orr and Anthony Furiano, as well as members of the Brant Figure Skating Club.