Additionally, a Chamber survey of McCall area businesses conducted at the end of the 2021 winter season showed:

82.5% reported that canceling the Carnival had no negative impact on their business

80% reported winter business was up during the winter when there was no Carnival (2021)

70% of businesses supported either shortening the Carnival to one weekend or moving it later in the winter, and only 30% voted for no change

When the Carnival was launched back in 1964, McCall was a sleepy town with a new ski area (Brundage Mountain) that was looking to draw attention and visitation during what was, back then, the slow part of winter. The first Carnival was a single-weekend event held in late February that focused on outdoor winter sports. Over the next six decades, the format and timing of the event would change and evolve to meet the community’s needs. It was in the mid-1990s that the event began to span two weekends and settle into its current spot on the calendar, starting the last weekend in January and ending the first weekend in February.

With our community facing a housing shortage and businesses facing ongoing staffing challenges, the Carnival’s current setup no longer meets our business community’s needs. Several cornerstone downtown businesses have felt the need to shut their doors entirely during the Carnival on two peak winter weekends that would otherwise be profitable and manageable.

These factors and feedback from our business and community members have prompted us to search for solutions.

While many members have expressed support in moving the Carnival to March, we felt moving it to the end of February was a good place to start, as we want to be careful not to jeopardize the construction and maintenance of snow sculptures. As you can see on the graph, there is little difference in temperature and snowfall between January and February, but the variances get larger during March. (Fun fact: McCall actually averages more rain during January than February.)

Your Chamber will continue to help businesses promote offerings and events throughout the winter season and during the Carnival. We will also continue to seek feedback on these changes and suggestions from our business and community members on ways to better balance the competing interests of tradition, sustainability, and positive community impacts.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions,

Your McCall Area Chamber of Commerce Team

See What’s New

We are planning significant changes to the 2024 event in an effort to hold on to the treasured traditions of the Carnival while mitigating negative impacts during the peak of the winter recreation season.

  • Consolidating the Carnival into a single weekend (three-day event)
  • Moving the Carnival to the last weekend in February in 2024 and beyond

Read the Full Press Release

Press Release

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