03/01/2014 12:46 EST | Updated 05/01/2014 05:59 EDT

Frigid temperates, yes, but no record for Winnipeg

It may be a matter of some debate whether March came in like a lion or a lamb, but one thing is sure.
It's a bitterly cold start to the month, with the entire province under a wind chill warning. 

Even so, Winnipeg did not break any records.

The coldest it's ever been on this date was in 1962, when it was minus 37.8 C.

But wind chills across the province were hovering around minus 50 Saturday morning. Winnipeg's airport, Brandon, Shoal Lake, Wasagaming, and Fisher Branch all reached minus 36.

In addition to the wind chill warning, the Churchill region is under a blizzard warning.

By the way, the forecast for this date last year called for a high of minus 8 and a low of minus 14. 

Still, a few brave Manitobans ventured out, in spite of the cold on this Mar. 1. 

The CBC's Katie Nicholson said she was one of about a dozen other skaters early Saturday enjoying the day. 

"Believe it or not, I'm not the only person who's out on the river trail right now," she said. "I've passed a few other people, [who were] bundled up so tightly, they [looked like] they're in some sort of space movie or something."

She said any bit of moisture quickly freezes, including eye lashes - hers were white.

Still, she reported excellent conditions to get out and experience the Manitoba winter.

"Bottom line is, it's a great day for a skate, beautiful sunny conditions," she said. But, she added, "You sure want to bundle up. Make sure every patch of skin is covered." 

Icelanders take chill in stride

A celebration of Nordic culture kicks off Saturday at the Gimli Ice Festival. 

Co-chair Peter Holfeuer said a slew of events over the weekend will keep Vikings and others warm.

He explained that a Viking hat ring toss is one of the big draws.

"Where they're going to throw rings on folks who have Viking hats on," he said. "They try to ring the horn.  Another one is called the shoe ski where four people will basically will be on skis at the same time and they have to race against others to see who gets across the finish line first." 

Holfeuer is not worried the frigid temperatures will put a chill on festival attendance.    

"Just hope the folks come out and bundle up," he said. "I mean it's been a tough winter and it seems like that winter just not going away but you know let's just bundle up and make the best of it and have some fun while we can."

There's also a big pancake breakfast planned for Sunday morning inside a giant heated tent.

Festival admission is $5 for the whole weekend.