It's Idaho's favorite place to have a great time.  Who doesn't love McCall, Idaho?  We're only a week away from the 55th McCall Winter Carnival. Talk about growth issues!  Every year, the small town of 3,000 expands to over 60,000 people in the 10-day winter celebration.

If you're new to Idaho, you don't want to miss the fun.  Did you know that you'll be able to watch the big fireworks show, Mardi Gras Parade, and snow sculptures along with numerous other festivities like snowshoe golf, the Flash Point Snow Bike Race, McCall Starz on Ice, bingo, and a hairy-legs contest.

Plus, organizers continue to expand the sled dog race introduced in 2018. As a Yukon Quest and Iditarod qualifier, the race features two distances -- a 150-mile course and a 300-mile course -- and is now part of the Rocky Mountain Triple Crown. The Triple Crown includes the Idaho race, as well as Oregon's Eagle Cap Extreme and Montana's Race to the Sky.

New this year is a local talent showcase on the second Saturday, Feb. 1, where revelers will enjoy youth to adult organizations presenting their music and dancing skills. The main stage will host additional local live music by Innocent Man, Free Peoples, and High Pine Whiskey Yell.

It all begin back in 924, when McCall created the Payette Lake Sports Carnival, named after the large, picturesque, glacier-carved, sandy-beached body of water that provides much of McCall's summer and fall allure. The Sports Carnival existed for several years before becoming an ice-breakup contest, which ended when gambling became illegal in 1941.

In 1965, the community rallied to bring back a winter festival to help promote the area's pristine skiing. This effort led to the first annual McCall Winter Carnival at Brundage Mountain Resort, which Ski Magazine has claimed is home to "the best powder in North America." The two-day event included slalom racing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and snowshoe and snowcat races.

For more information about the McCall Winter Carnival or to find a list of lodging options, please visit McCallChamber.org, phone (208) 634-7631, or call (800) 260-5130 toll free.