2023 Yukon Rendezvous Back To ‘The Roots’

After two years of the pandemic, Rendezvous will be back to form and celebrating its 59th festival.

The Rendezvous kickoff will be held at Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (KDCC) on Friday, February 10, at 6 p.m., with further events taking place between then and the main Rendezvous Weekend from February 24–26.

“We will have both new and returning ticketed events like the Rendezvous Fiddle Show, featuring Vollrath & Sullivan; and the Rendezvous Roots High Tea. Rendezvous Raffle tickets are on sale now, with the final draw taking place at 3 p.m. on February 25 in the KDCC Longhouse,” said Tamara Fischer (a.k.a. “Time Bomb”), board president of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society. In the past two years, smaller versions of the festival were held (because of Covid), but now that’s history: The organizers are excited to continue hosting community events that are free to attend, including KidsFest, the Snow Sculpture Exhibit, Open Snowpad and the Performance Stage, just to name a few.

The Call For The Cup Sourdough Sam contest is back, with shows running February 17–18 and 23–24 at The Local Bar. This year, Sams were chosen after a few evenings of Sam Searchers at Whiskey Jacks Pub & Grill. The popular tradition of the Sourdough Sam competition goes back a long way: It began in 1985 and was hosted by none other than Lake Laberge Marj. However, another popular tradition will be missing this year as there will be no Quest for the Crown contest because of the lack of applicants. Organizers encourage everyone who is interested, to apply for Quest for the Crown 2024. They hope to bring back the full contest for the 60th anniversary next year. People who are interested can apply throughout the year.

The Pyro Musical is returning on Saturday, February 25, and will be produced by the award-winning Midnight Sun Fireworks Crew, with the soundtrack being broadcasted on the radio. The fireworks can be seen all over Whitehorse. Rendezvous is also pleased to be hosting Mr. and Mrs. Yukon, as chosen by the Yukon Order of Pioneers. Don and Penny Sippel of Whitehorse are this year’s Mr. and Mrs. Yukon. They will host a meet-and-greet in the Elders’ Lounge at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre on February 25 from 1–3 p.m.

Other returning favourites, such as the Axe Throw, the Chainsaw Chuck and the Log Toss, will also take place at Shipyards Park. The popular event of Snow Carving will also take place over the Rendezvous Weekend. Six smaller snow-carving blocks will be available for groups or families to try their hand at snow carving. Festival organizers will provide tools and an expert, to help people try their best. The Snow Sculpture Exhibit will be another highlight of Rendezvous. At Shipyards Park there will be events at the Performance Stage, such as the Pet Parade and Dog Howling contests. The festival will close off with the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Parade on Sunday, February 26, starting on Main Street.

Let’s grow leg hair and a beard: Rendezvous is excited to bring back the Strength & Style challenge as a live event at The Local Bar on Saturday, February 18, from 7–8 pm. Yukoners are invited to show off their ink, beards, leg hair, and ‘staches.

Yukoners who want to help make the events, games and shows at the Rendezvous Festival possible, are welcome to volunteer: “Rendezvous would not be possible without the support of our community—especially our dedicated volunteers,” Fischer said. Each year, the festival gets around 100–200 volunteers, including the 70-plus characters and board members who are involved for months leading up to the main event. In the month of February, especially during Rendezvous Weekend, volunteers assist with the Snowpad and Outdoor Events, as well as with Performances and Indoor Events. They also help to provide support for the Festival Grounds, as well as providing Operational Support. “There are many different positions available, including daytime and evening shifts,” Fischer added.
Anyone looking to volunteer this February can sign up now through Volunteer Local at yukonrendezvous.com/volunteer. The schedule for all events is online at yukonrendezvous.com.

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