Winter Carnival

Fun for Everyone! (I want that turkey leg…)

By mid-January, the snow is piled deep in the Idaho mountains, the thermometer has rarely been above freezing in months, the locals are bleary-eyed from staring at their cabin walls — and McCall is ready for a party!

For most of the past 80+ years, that mid-winter bash has been the McCall Winter Carnival, which begins when three dozen+ businesses unveil intricate snow sculptures on opening weekend.

On days between the contests the surrounding mountains offer outstanding downhill skiing at Brundage Mountain, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Ponderosa State Park, tubing for the kids and 530 miles of snowmobile trails plus lots of goofy carnival fun.

Winter’s big week is carnival, when many of the locals wear Mardi Gras beads to raise money for charity. Snowshoe golf, a teen dance, snowman-building and a kids variety show keep locals busy, while out-of-towners enjoy a Mardi Gras parade, theater at the Alpine Playhouse and a torchlight parade on skis, hairy and sexy legs contest, wine-tasting, beer garden, art and souvenir shopping and you can even try your own hand at ice sculpturing.