Photos: Aurora Winter Festival brings festive cheer to the city with ice-skating river and Christmas lights

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      There’s no shortage of holiday attractions in Vancouver, but we’re not complaining if there’s a new Christmas-themed event to check out around town.

      The inaugural Aurora Winter Festival at Concord Pacific Place (811 Carrall Street) has kicked-off and runs through December 30, 2018. Self-proclaimed to be the largest winter fete of its kind in Canada, guests will feel like they’ve roamed into a magical oasis.

      Its family-friendly activities range from a hidden village with Christmas light displays to amusement rides that include a 60-foot Ferris wheel, and from market vendors selling artisan goods to food truck grub at the food gardens.

      The 200-feet long tube park.
      Jonathan Evans

      But we have a feeling the most popular attractions (among kids and kids-at-heart) at the festival will be the 200-foot long tube park and frozen river skating area. Who doesn’t love the thrill of tubing down a slide or skating across man-made ice?

      There are many interactive elements at the festival, including storytelling with old St. Nick and getting crafty at Santa’s workshop inside a large igloo tent, and embarking on a smartphone quest as you roam through the Mystical Worlds light displays.

      Visitors can embark on an interactive quest in the Mystical Worlds area.
      Tammy Kwan

      Look out for magical characters throughout the area, including an ice queen, ice elves, and a large yeti that likes to photo-bomb guests.

      “We’ve been working on this concept for a year and a half,” Scott Emslie, co-founder of Aurora Winter Festival, told the Straight in an interview at the new winter event. “Aurora is an experiential Christmas festival unlike anything that Vancouver has ever seen, and it’s an amazing place to bring friends and family.”

      Scroll through the photos below for a look inside the North Pole-inspired festival.

      Brandon Artis Photography

       

      Tammy Kwan

       

      Jonathan Evans

       

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      Aurora Winter Festival runs November 23 to December 30, 2018. For tickets and more information, click here.

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