Stanley, Idaho Invites You to Get Weird During Annual Winterfest


Once a year, over the weekend leading into President’s Day, a group of rowdy, fun-loving adventurists gathers in the coldest city in the contiguous US to celebrate a little something called Stanley Winterfest. The two-day winter-time festival in Stanley, Idaho, features several sports and events sponsored by the Stanley-Sawtooth Chamber of Commerce. Winterfest's theme, "Let's get weird," is focused on embracing the beautiful wintry wonderland through sports, beer, and family fun.

Someone in fur garments sitting in a chair

What Are the Winterfest Events in Stanley, Idaho?

Winterfest promotes several crowd-worthy events each year, some of which are new and some of which are classics. Here are a few from previous festivals:

Pickup Hockey and Ice Skating

Winterfesters can join in free skating and pickup hockey fun at The Stanley Ice Rink .

A skater playing ice hockey

Kickoff Beach Party at Mountain Village

Forget that it’s winter! Adults 21+ can enjoy music, drinks and a tropical flair at the Mountain Village Resort Beach Party. This takes place at the Velvet Falls Dance Hall.

Fat Bike Fondo

The Fat Bike Fondo is perhaps one of the anchoring events of Winterfest. Getting its name from the Italian term for a long bike ride, “Gran Fondo,” the Fat Bike Fondo is set in the beautiful snowy Sawtooth Mountains. The race is out and back trail with two aid stations. Participants must register for the 30k or 40k ride. In 2023, the Fat Bike Fondo is offically becoming its own weekend event. It is planned for the first weekend in March.

Outhouse Races

Nothing stinks about these outhouses! Each one is built with a theme in mind by a team who will push it, and themselves, towards a finish line on Ace of Diamonds Blvd. Since the race is such a crowd pleaser, it’s sometimes held as the finale of Winterfest. Awards are given for 1st - “Turd” place and a people’s choice. So, the more creative the outhouse, the better! Costumes are also highly encouraged!

The outhouse race on Ace of Diamonds Boulevard

Howlin’ Wolf Raft Rides

Slide down hills in a raft with a few of your favorite friends or family! All ages can participate.

A family going down the hill in a raft

Live Music and Street Dancing

The summer tradition continues for one weekend in February! Get your street dance on to music from live bands during Winterfest!

Turkey Bowl

This game of bowling is all about fowl balls! Each contestant will bowl with a frozen turkey on Ace of Diamonds Blvd.

A person playing Turkey Bowl

Drag Race

Our town’s Drag Queens battle it out in an epic race down Ace of Diamonds wearing the most glamorous of winter footwear—snowshoes!

Ski Plane Fly-In

Winterfest is home to the only ski plane fly-in in the Northwest. Depending on the weather, check out awesome ski planes that fly over Stanley, Idaho, and the Sawtooth Valley, then land at the airport.

If you're on a mission to bust your winter blues, you may have already plunged into the marina for Boise's Great Polar Bear Challenge and seen the ice sculptures at McCall's Winter Carnival. However, neither event will prepare you for the weirdness that comes with Stanley Idaho's annual Winterfest. So next President's Day Weekend, point your vehicle toward the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and make your way to Stanley, Idaho’s winter event! For the latest information, visit the website.

TIP: It's imperative to reserve accommodations if you plan to stay overnight in Stanley. We recommend calling before the festival since lodging is less available in the winter. Don't forget to check out our top-rated restaurants too!