Students celebrate Carnaval de Rendell Park

By Geoff Lee

February 7, 2017 12:00 AM

Plaisirs d'hiver Clockwise from left: Rendell Park school students—who had an all day recess Friday—Maya Caville, left, and Jackson Wiens pose with Bonhomme while eating la tire (taffy) during the 11th annual Carnaval de Rendell Park on Friday

A bit of the Quebec experience in Lloydminster

It was like an all day recess for students at Rendell Park Elementary School with a Francophone flavour.
The school held its 11th annual Carnaval de Rendell Park Friday to experience the fun of the famous Quebec City winter carnival and its French programming, from Kindergarten to Grade 6.
“We thought what a great way to celebrate that fact and bring French culture into our school,” said Sheldon Gallagher, school principal.
Rendell’s Carnaval is a derivative of the Carnaval de Quebec started by a group of teachers to celebrate the festivals of Quebec on the Prairies.
“They started the Carnaval de Rendell Park and it’s kind of grown bigger and bigger,” said Scott Lyons, who teaches French.
“So we include all of the school and a lot of activities and cultural things that would happen in Quebec City.”
Carnaval treats that kids had to learn to pronounce in French included, la queue de castor (beaver tails) , chocolate chaud (hot chocolate) and la tire´ (taffy).
This was the first year in the past three years the school has been able to celebrate outdoors with the weather finally cooperating.
Outdoor activities included curling, inner tube relays, hockey, schockey, hill sledding and snowshoeing.
“So we have winter festival ideas going on,” said Lyons, as a learning experience.
“We’ve spent the last couple of weeks talking about the events that happen at the actual Carnaval de Quebec and speaking about those,” he said.
The event kicked off with a school assembly with Grade 6 students practicing playing the spoons to an Acadian song, The Long Potato.
The annual highlight, though, is the introduction of Carnival mascot, Bonhomme who dresses as a snowman every year.
Gallagher said kids try to guess who’s behind the costume.
“The little ones think Bonhomme’s real,” he said.
“It’s just a blast, we have fun with it.”
This year’s Bonhomme was a former student with a sporty side,  as he was seen sledding and curling with the kids.
Gallagher thanks Kal Tire for donating some inner tubes and repairing others for the inner tube relay.
“Superstore (Real Canadian) gave us a fantastic deal on some new toboggans so we were fortunate to have that support,” he said.

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