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Winterlude Diary: Day 1

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Friday, January 31, 2014, 8:00 PM

My day actually began in Florida - I decided to take a couple days off before covering Winterlude over the weekend in Ottawa. I'm pleased to report that the weather on the Thursday in the Sunshine state was a lovely 7 degrees - which made returning to Ottawa, often the coldest capital in the world, not so bad. Gabe, my cameraman on this trip, picked me up at Pearson and we drove the 4 hour trek down the 401 to begin our coverage of one of Canada's biggest celebrations of winter. 

The cool thing about this event over others I have covered in the past was how organized it was - the team of Andre-Anne, Denise and Angus had interviews lined up for us from the moment we stepped foot into Confederation Park, even before things officially kicked off. 

That was a refreshing welcome, especially after such a long travel day! We in fact visited the Winterlude crew on Monday for a preview, where we talked to ice carvers and artists:

The weather cooperated on this day; it was hovering around -2 (felt like -6), down to -11 with the windchill at night, but certainly milder than what we have experienced typically in Ottawa over the course of the winter, and even earlier in the week. Let's see what happens tomorrow, when there is 15-20 cm of snow expected in the capital region. 

From what I learned talking with people tonight, that won't deter them from showing up and having a good time - it is a celebration of winter after all!

We did just over 20 segments in a 4 hour time span - an ambitious schedule to say the least. Me personally, I like it more when it's busy like that. Feed me interviews back to back and I'm happy. Keeps you sharp and on your toes. We spoke to a giant lit up robot, an Olympic and Paralympic gold medalist, a Juno award winning musician, a member of the band "10 strings and Goat Skin" (now that's a band name!) who has never played outdoors before, as well as the mute mascot ice hogs, and several visitors - including one couple who have been coming to Winterlude for over 20 years, and had the old school scarves and toques to prove it! You can watch some of those segments in this post.

We we will be at Winterlude Saturday and Sunday morning / afternoon, so be sure to tune into the Weather Network, as well as check the website for more exclusive content. It will be an interesting day, especially with the active weather projected to come through!

CLICK TO WATCH: Better luck next time Arda...

CLICK TO WATCH: Attempting the obstacle course...key word 'obstacle'

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