As a child, heading back to school after the Christmas break was a real drag. The excitement of the holiday season, opening the presents under the Christmas tree, feasting, and being with family caused the break to pass much too quickly. There was nothing to anticipate or daydream about in the month of January while sitting in class. That is until Jasper started celebrating January. 

Luckily, I was six years old when Jasper in January began giving me the opportunity to participate in many festivals. For my family, the festival made it affordable to pack up the family car and drive from Edmonton for weekend ski trips. We took advantage skiing at Marmot Basin throughout all of January. We created family rituals and endless memories. Just before arriving in Jasper we would pull over on the highway and skate on a mountain lake with an axe and rope in hand. Our weekend adventure had begun! Upon arrival into town we would go to the local ski shops to tune our skis. When we walked into our hotel room, I thought I had gone to heaven to see a chocolate waiting on my pillow. Early in the morning we would rush to meet up with family friends. Together we would explore the mountain, enjoy the outdoors and challenge ourselves until the lastchairlift ride of the day. The best part was that the day wasn’t over with the last turns. Concerts and events all around town allowed us to stay up late. We got to walk the streets sampling the food, enjoying the music and mingling around the outdoor fires.

Twenty-five years later, the festival continues and keeps getting better. Having recently retired from competitive freestyle skiing, I am once again daydreaming of Jasper in January!