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Pirates, yetis, penguins, and vikings on parade at Whitefish Winter Carnival

By Rebecca Vogt, KCFW Reporter, rvogt@kcfw.com
Published On: Feb 02 2013 06:59:28 PM MST
Updated On: Feb 04 2013 12:08:30 PM MST
WHITEFISH, Mont. -

On a bluebird day in Whitefish, Montana, penguins, viking divas, and yetis emerged from Big Mountain to transform downtown into a huge block party - complete with Captain Jack Sparrow. Folks rejoiced as they watched King Ullr and his Queen of the Snows parade down Central Avenue.

"This is Maya's first parade. My first grandchild, so we definitely had to have her come today," said Rick Johnson.

"We come every year, this is our family time today," said Robert Smith.

It's a festival created to dull winter doldrums. Nordic god of snow Ullr and the Queen of the Snows leave Big Mountain and celebrate with the humans in town. During the parade, yetis are out to steal children - which some youngsters find amusing.

"I like being taken by yetis," exclaimed Haileigh Bayee .

Johnson was attending the parade for a special reason. His daughter participates in Special Olympics Montana and money raised from the carnivals Penguin Plunge goes directly to the organization.

"We were just at the penguin plunge and this sort of just makes the rest of the day," said Johnson.

The carnival culminates with the Black Star Beer Barter at the Great Northern Brewing Company, where one lucky person or group wins a year's supply of beer for bartering off a unique item.