Every March in Yellowknife, a gigantic snow and ice castle is built on the edge of the frozen Great Slave Lake. Inside and around this castle for the entire month, the SnowKing Festival is host to live music, hockey games, art exhibits, and more!
Although we’d driven by the castle a few times since its construction began in January… we went inside for the first time on Friday night for the Royal Rave.
I can’t explain the giddiness I felt as we walked through the front portal into a chamber of snow with clear slabs of ice for windows and ice candle votives lighting the entry… but it was like going back to building a snow fort in the backyard as a kid. You’re inside a structure built purely of snow that’s quiet and calm and surprisingly warm. It was SO COOL!
We explored the castle, with a central vaulted chamber splitting off into four passageways. One took us to the largest room with a beam and tarp roof where the DJs were playing music to a huge crowd. Another passageway lead us outside where we found a sculpture of the Snow King (ice crown and all) and a giant ice slide.
Obviously I went down the slide at least five times… why not? When you’re at a snow castle with a gigantic slide made from snow and ice, and your inner child is bursting with excitement at this dream come true, you embrace it, and you go down that slide.
Overall, we had an awesome night at the Royal Rave. The castle at night is incredibly illuminated, and when it’s dark the castle feels huge and mysterious. I can’t wait to see what it’s like during the day as we attend more festival events over the next couple weeks.
If you ever end up in Yellowknife in March, don’t miss out on this unique snow fortress experience!