Feb 9-19, 2024 • Laurier Park
Edmonton's longest running winter festival!
Writer: Elizabeth Hobbs
Once upon a time in a land not so very far from here at all, the Kingdom of the Golden Apples was preparing for a royal wedding. It was a very happy and special Kingdom, because the Golden Apples gave not only food, but love and happiness to the people who ate them. The Kingdom was especially happy now, because the Princess and Prince of the land were going to be married. Princess Summer and Prince Gerald had fallen in love some time ago when they defeated the White Wolves and broke the frozen curse of fear and despair that had taken over the land. Princess Summer’s father, the king, had announced he was ready to retire and hand the kingdom over to his daughter and her beloved on their wedding day. The preparations were taking months, as everyone in the kingdom was coming together to celebrate. The kingdom was so full of warmth and love that in the frozen mountains to the West, the Envy Trolls started feeling the great love in the Kingdom. The Envy Trolls were starving for love and came down into the Kingdom to feed on the love of the people.
The Envy Trolls were big and scary and fed themselves by capturing and sucking the love out of people. They replaced the people’s love and generosity with jealousy and suspicion. After someone was taken by the trolls, they returned home with their minds full of lies and doubts about the people they once loved. As the trolls sucked more and more love out of more and more of the people, a great darkness fell over the kingdom. The envy of the trolls replaced the Kingdom’s Golden Apples of love with suspicious red eyes that watched every person’s move. Snakes began to eat their own tails. The fish grew jealous of the creatures of the land and leapt out of the seas.
The Envy Trolls kept getting hungrier and hungrier and were desperate to get their claws on the greatest love in the Kingdom: that of the Princess and her Prince. One day when Prince Gerald was out walking in the woods, the Envy Trolls captured him and imprisoned him in a fortress made of ice, waiting for the daring Princess Summer to come to find him so they could capture her too. By consuming both their loves at the same time, the trolls believed they would grow powerful enough to take over the entire Kingdom.
Back in the castle, when Prince Gerald did not return, Princess Summer feared the worst and decided she would go to get him back regardless of the danger. She was very brave and very smart, and despite the pleas of her best friend and caretaker Magda, she set out to find him.
Prince Gerald was very clever when he was captured. As the trolls took him away, he whispered messages of love for Summer to the fish, to the trees, to the coral and the leaves so that she would be able to find him. As Princess Summer started out on her quest to find Gerald, she found the clues Gerald had left her. The trolls kept trying to catch her, but she was wise and was able to outsmart them as she went.
Finally, she managed to find the ice fortress in which Gerald was imprisoned. It was impossible to find the entrance, but she called out Gerald’s name. Within the icy walls he heard her and called back, saying “Summer! I love you! I’ll love you forever, no matter what happens.” The trolls were closing in on them when he called this out. Although the Envy Trolls almost had the two of them in their grasp, the couple’s love for each other proved too powerful for the trolls.
Princess Summer’s and Prince Gerald’s declaration of love and trust in one another shattered the walls of the ice prison. They hugged each other deeply, and their love was so powerful that it broke the trolls into ten million little pieces.
With the trolls defeated, all the love that had been sucked out of the Kingdom of the Golden Apples returned to the people’s hearts. The King declared that not only would the marriage of Princess Summer and Prince Gerald go ahead immediately, but the Kingdom would celebrate the love of every single person within it. The celebration would not only happen this year, but every year ever after. Each person would write down all their jealousies and fears and burn them in a yearly bonfire to make sure they never came back. This way, everyone would live together in peace and harmony, loving their friends and neighbours for all the years to come.
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The mission of the Silver Skate Festival Society is to provide a free family-oriented winter celebration blending sport, recreation, arts and culture, showcasing various skating disciplines and promoting outdoor activities in Alberta.