Op-Ed: COVID-19 Fears Cancels Winter Fun in Liberal-Leaning Whitefish, MT



Whitefish Montana once again is playing virtue-signaling games. And for the life of us, we can’t figure out why. There will be no actual “Whitefish Winter Carnival” but don’t fear for “there will be contests where we guess how many bars of soap Sage and Cedar sold last year.” 

Really? How ridiculous. The whole idea of a “Winter Carnival” in the middle of dreary cloud-infested Northwest Montana is to get out and get active. 

This years “pseudo virtual online virtue carnival” is a far cry from Yetis scooping up folks downtown and carrying them off, to skijoring events, to broom hockey, and to locals sitting atop of downtown businesses while a ruckus parade goes rambling down main street of Whitefish with local high school students playing saxophones and snare drums.

What happened? Terror. Sheer fear is what happened and control. Sadly Rob Akey WWC board President and the WWC board members no doubt caught an earful from the Whitefish City Council (at least we can assume that). 

Sources reported, “Akey says the carnival typically draws crowds ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 people from around and outside of the Flathead Valley, and while the event is virtual this year, the board is excited to be able to offer something for the community.” 

That’s how the whole Covid fiasco works. “Sorry but you get the consolation prize. Here’s a dog biscuit.”

Akey seems to be totally OK with the idea. 

“There’s never been a time when we’ve gone virtual before, but there’s a first for everything,” Whitefish Winter Carnival Board President Josh Akey said.

“To maintain some winter carnival spirit while keeping the community safe, the board canceled the normal festivities but created a set of “Survivor” themed challenges to represent the past year. Challenges include trivia, painting, songwriting, and quilting.”

If you would have told us when we were kids growing up in Whitefish that the most exciting event that we patiently waited for all year was comprised of “trivia, painting, songwriting and quilting we would have laughed in your face. 

Meanwhile, right up the road on the top of “Whitefish Mountain Resort” (aka “Big Mountain”), there are thousands of tourists skiing, snowboarding, and dining (albeit masked up but they are up there doing backflips). Even amid the “pandemic” Whitefish Mountain Resort is inundated with sports enthusiasts with an increase of 15% more people. That’s a large increase. What about keeping them, “safe?” Perhaps the most exasperating part of the whole Covid nightmare is the inconsistencies that are everywhere. 

How on earth do they differentiate between these events?! There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to this nuttiness. Does Covid 19 only hang out in downtown Whitefish but not up at the ski resort? (Maybe it’s colder up there and kills all the germs). It’s worse than inconsistent parenting. Sadly and disgustingly enough, the revenue that the WWC brings in yearly to the valley and especially Whitefish, simply won’t happen this year.

However diametrically opposing this would be event is the greatly looked forward to massive music spectacular that will host hundreds, perhaps thousands of people this summer in Whitefish. The “Under the Big Sky Festival” is already promoting their huge happening even this early in the year all while the Whitefish Winter Carnival is embarrassing for our valley to say the least, with its alternative, “quilting and trivia” nonsense.

For those of us who grew up in Whitefish and experienced the best winter carnivals ever, we say hogwash. Socialism doesn’t look attractive on you Whitefish. Let the Yetis out of their cages and allow the festivities to commence. 

[Editor’s Note: This Op-Ed was contributed by Brenda Roskos]


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