The last time Natasha Fieldman was in town, Jacquelin Holzman was running the city, Daniel Alfredsson was craning necks as a rookie for the Senators, and Montell Jordan was blaring in the cars of teenagers on both coasts.
Fieldman, of Toronto, was checking out Winterlude festivities and visiting family over the weekend — her first trip since 1995 when she was part of university frosh.
“The city’s changed a lot and this has grown a lot, so it’s kind of awesome,” said Fieldman.
“I just came to basically visit around and see the ice sculptures, skate a little bit on the Rideau Canal, eat some poutine and Beavertail.”
Her son Connor, 4, was decked out in layers, working on a collaborative ice sculpture in Confederation Park Saturday afternoon.
Blocks of ice with powdered paint were chiseled down to cubes, perfect for tiny hands, then fused onto a base with water, “so there’s basically no cost to this project,” said Dominique Boisvenue from the Ottawa Art Gallery.
Little Connor was wise enough to avoid pulling a ‘Dumb and Dumber’ move, unlike his peers.
“You’d be surprised how many adults have tried to lick them, and thinking we’re building this huge Jello-shooter popsicle,” said Boisvenue.
“Not even 10 minutes ago, I caught an adult having one in his mouth, and I’m like ‘it doesn’t taste good, please stop,’” she said.
Maple taffy on snow, though, satiated an Orléans family.
All that sugary goodness brings them back each year, said Kelly Levesque, there with her husband, Dan and kids, Jared and Kassi.
A family tradition for eight years now, it’s always an opportunity to “get the good treats,” said Jared, 12, also fond of the original Beavertail.
Kelly Levesque enjoys “watching all the smiles as they eat their favourite treats, and watching the people fall down on the ice down there,” she said, cracking up.
“People-watching; it’s great.”
Zach Garner, in a Leafs jersey, was attending the festival for the first time with his daughter, Rachel, 8, who dug the Nutella Beavertail.
“We went skating on the Canal, Dow’s Lake, which was a little bit choppy, but we had fun,” said Garner, a west end resident.
“It’s really good, organized. I really like that shuttle bus. That was nice. I didn’t have to drive up here, just parked down at Dow’s Lake,” he said.