In the winter time, Edmonton weather runs the gamut from a little bit chilly to downright bone-chilling - and it can change in moments. Before you come down to the festival, check the forecast and dress for the weather. Here's some advice to help you and your family stay warm and comfy - from the top of your head to the tip of your toes - so you can enjoy your festival experience.
Tip your hat to winter
Up to 60% of your body's heat can escape through your head during cold weather. Even if you're not a fan of hat head, you'll need to cover up your noggin with a hat (or even a headband or helmet) if you want to stay warm at the festival. There are all kinds of different hats out there, usually made of fleece or wool. If you find hats itchy, choose one with a fleece liner, which will feel soft on your skin. If it's really cold out, try to cover as much of your skin as you can. Consider a balaclava, which will cover almost all of your head and neck, or wear a hat with a neck gaiter, which will cover your neck and some of your face.
When you're outside for the day, the weather will inevitably change. So will your activity level, as you explore the festival's different activities. Dressing in layers makes it easy to edit what you're wearing to fit the situation - removing a layer while you're skating or adding one after sunset. Start with a wicking layer. Worn next to your body, it's usually a kind of long underwear in a synthetic fabric (but silk works too) that will wick the moisture away from your skin. So, even if you sweat, you won't get cold and clammy. On top of this, add an insulating layer, like a sweater, sweatshirt, vest or pullover. This layer will help keep heat in and cold out. Fleece and wool are great materials for keeping you warm. Your top layer is called a protect ion layer, usually a shell and pants, which will block the wind and snow. It should also be a breathable material so your perspiration can evaporate, keeping you dry and comfy.
Give frostbite the finger
When it's really cold, your hands can be vulnerable to frostbite. Look for gloves and mittens made of waterproof, but breathable, materials. Although mittens will keep you warmer, they won't work as well as gloves for some sports. Bring both, just in case.
Your tender tootsies
If you're going to be on the move for a day of fun, make sure your feet will stay warm. If you have proper winter boots, you should be fine with just one pair of good-quality socks made of a wicking material. But if it's really, really cold, it's wise to second pair of socks and maybe even toe warmers to stick in your boots.
The mission of the Silver Skate Festival Society is to provide a free family-oriented winter celebration blending sport, recreation, arts and culture, showcasing various skating disciplines and promoting outdoor activities in Alberta.