Barbegazi an event with untapped potential

Barbegazi1resize I just came back from the Barbegazi festival down by the Olympic stadium in Montreal. I must say that quite a lot of people endured the cold temperature and had a blast while doing so. If you want to experience something different this is definitely the place for you: wood cutting, chopping, slicing short for lumberjack competitions; freestyle sled and some really sweet snowskating. As you get close to the intersection of Sherbrooke and Pie-IX you can hear the music and the voices quite pronouncedly, you’d think this would be a really big venue. In actual fact as you take a few stairs down, toward the source of the music you discover a small site surrounded by tents and vending trucks. The site could probably accommodate 500-600 people at best, but it was perfect for the traffic it was getting. People went from outside to inside the official sponsor’s tent to keep warm. You could buy hot wine in there, a very welcomed tradition from Europe and a great solution to keep warm on any cold winter day. It smelled like burning wood as tiny fine ash was going through the air from the 3-4 fire places they had set up around the site. Turning your attention to the stage, you noticed logs set up all over and the hosts were animating the crowd trying to keep everyone, and probably themselves, warm. Having a nice stuffy beard was encouraged as some people were proudly displaying theirs and if yours wasn’t quite down to speck, they even had a barber that could trim it for you on the spot. Most people were wearing funky glasses and tuques. It made me think about the igloo fest crowd (which I’ll maybe cover in another entry), this might be their day activity. Witnessing the lumberjack competition is actually more interesting than I would have expected and it might spike that competitive sense in any of you as you will inadvertently get involved with the crowed in the cheering. A short walk away you, behind the big screen that was broadcasting the Sochi Olympic games, and you could see the area set up for the freestyle sled. In its background rose the imposing Olympic stadium. That area could accommodate probably more than the first one, but again around 300 people were present. The actual area for the tricks was surprisingly small and there was quite a bit of security and paramedics around the ramp area. All in all you would find yourself going from the lumberjack area to the freestyle area and the tent to warm up pretty much 3-4 times during the day. The schedule was 5 hours and I found it to be perfect, especially on a colder day. Definitely something to consider next February, why not add it on your smartphone calendar app as a reminder for next year and maybe we’ll see each other there. One last thing in case you were wondering: even though they are timed, the lumberjack competition doesn’t count as an official one and is not part of the Tour. Yes people there’s a professional tour for that as well! Like cooking and most things that man had to do out of necessity it’s all just a sport now. CHECK OUT THE PICTURES @


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