Totally Boise Blog


2021 McCall Winter Carnival Gets Back to its Roots

Last updated November 03, 2020 by Tessa Bishop

For 56 years, McCall Winter Carnival has been a fan favorite. The small town of McCall made up of 3,000 typically welcomes a surge of more than 60,000 during the 10-day festival. This year, things might look a little different with COVID, but that doesn’t mean the Winter festival won’t continue.

The McCall Winter Carnival focuses on ice sculptures, family fun and outdoor recreation.

This year, while many events will be altered to align with public health and safety practices, from Friday, January 29 - Sunday, February 7th the essence of the Winter Carnival will continue. What will remain is the amazing snow sculptures, vendors, family fun, outdoor recreation, and the charming town of McCall.

Photo Credit: The McCall Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau

“The Winter Carnival was started to get people outside, break the cabin fever, and build community. This is exactly what you will find this year, and something we could all definitely use.” - McKenzie Kraemer, McCall Area Chamber

In order to keep the community safe, some things will look different in 2021. Events include: the Children’s Torchlight Parade, Mardi Gras Parade, firework shows, beer garden and Main Stage music. Each of these events will be put on hold due to COVID-19.

Photo Credit: The McCall Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau

While the usual events can’t take place, the McCall Area Chamber is working to devise new plans and new events in unison with local businesses and nonprofits. While the events may look different, the McCall Area Chamber ensures the spirit of the Winter Carnival remains alive.

The McCall Winter Festival dates back to 1924, previously hosted as the Payette Lake Sports Carnival. After about 20 years when the Sports Carnival ended, the community of McCall rallied to bring back a winter festival. This led to the McCall Winter Carnival that we know and love today.

Photo Credit: The McCall Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau




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