Winnipeggers will be brushing off their elementary-school french skills and practicing their popsicle stick twisting in preparation for a popular festival's return.

French conversations that seem to hang trapped in the speaker's frozen breath and the vibrations from jumping fiddle music are all part of the atmosphere Chantal Vielfaure, the director of marketing, communications, and sales at Festival du Voyageur is excited to be part of once again.

"I am excited about having that feel of festival back," Vielfaure says. "To see those smiles, see everybody enjoying the music and activities and doing family things together and getting people involved again."

She is excited to hear "Heho" and see jigging once again on the snowy St. Boniface park grounds.

The popular Winnipeg winter festival will be continuing in person this year, with some adjustments, including the dates.  They are celebrating the festival as a hybrid event; families can brave the cold to see in-person events and sculptures or stay cozy by taking in a concert online, chocolat chaud not included.

Festival will be starting a week later than usual, running between February 18-26.

"We are continuing to try and see what format makes the most sense and what activities can continue to be offered in person."

The ever-popular maple syrup sticks (etire d'érable) will return this year, along with snow sculptures. Tall snow blocks such as the cube placed in front of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights patiently wait for artists to uncover the sculptures underneath. 

"We are going to have the interpretation in the fort as well, so that is going to continue. Everybody can really hear all those wonderful stories and all that historical aspect too."

Food trucks, sleigh rides, snowshoe rentals, and more will be back a the park.

Gone are the big white tents, but the grounds will be dotted with cultural attractions. New this year, says Vielfaure, is a unique music trailer. They have in the works a trailer for musicians to play inside of its transparent walls and have their music pumped outside.

"It is something that we can have at the park to continue to offer that traditional, wonderful music everybody loves to dance to."

Vielfaure does not know how many tickets they will be selling as of yet, saying to expect to see them go on sale the week before opening.