The Three Most Common Hazards At A Winter Festival

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

As I’m certain I’ve mentioned on at least one occasion before, winter’s a pretty incredible season from an event management perspective. Although it’s admittedly a little less inviting than the warmer seasons of the year, all that snow – and the holiday cheer that everyone experiences around Christmas – can make for some pretty incredible festivals, in the hands of a skilled event planner.  There’s practically a limitless list of Winter-themed activities you can throw at your guests to keep them entertained, to say nothing of how much fun guests at such events tend to have.

Of course, there are a few risks associated with running a winter event – and if you don’t properly mitigate them, you might be dealing with an utter catastrophe.

That’s what we’re going to discuss today. What are the most common hazards event planners tend to encounter when hosting a winter festival. More importantly, how can you mitigate them?

Low Temperatures

By far, the biggest risk you’ll deal with when running a winter festival is the cold weather. Depending on how low the temperature drops, attendees and volunteers might be dealing with frostbite, or worse, hypothermia. You need to make sure there’s a place for both guests and event staff to get warm – a campfire they can hang out by, or a booth where they’ve access to warm drinks.

When I volunteered at a local festival in my hometown a few years back, the events team provided their staff with several trailers, situated all around the park. Whenever the need struck, we could duck inside to warm up and grab some hot chocolate.  For attendees, they had several campfires, and a heated picnic area.  Suffice it to say, I don’t know of anyone getting too cold at that festival.

Icy Roads And Pathways

Another huge problem– both on the road and at the venue – is ice. Although you can’t necessarily do a whole lot about the roads around the venue (it might be worth changing to a different location or rescheduling if the streets are in that horrible a condition near your event site), you can make sure there’s no ice on the pathways where your guests are going to be walking. All it takes is one slip, and someone’s broken a bone.

Guess who’s liable if that happens?

Make sure your parking lot and any side-streets at the venue are properly cleared of ice. Same deal for the paths around the park where you’ll be hosting.


You wouldn’t expect dehydration to be a constant threat in the colder months, but it actually is – more so, perhaps, than in summer.  A lot of places tend to be pretty dry during winter, and we’ve less of a tendency to reach for a glass or bottle of water when our environment’s frosty and frozen. Combined, those factors mean your guests run the very real risk of getting dehydrated if they wander around your venue too much.

Again, I’d recommend offering attendees plenty of locations where they can go to get stuff like tea or hot chocolate.

Let The Festivities Begin

Winter festivals are some of my favorite events – and I’m certain I’m not alone in that. In spite of how enjoyable they can be, however, one must be aware of the health risks involved. Otherwise, all that celebrating will end up being cut woefully short.