Hot Eats Cool Beats: new family fun street eats festival

Looking for fun for the whole family? Head on down to the waterfront for the first-ever Street Eats and Beats Cultural Festival, hosted by the City of Whitehorse and the Yukon Arts Centre.

Raku Demonstration with Patrick Royle is one of the arts workshops that will be at the Street Eats & Beats Cultural Festival Sept. 9-11. Mike Thomas/Yukon Arts Centre

The festival, which runs Sept. 9 through Sept. 11, is an expansion of the popular Street Eats Festival of previous years, which saw a host of offerings from the city’s many food truck vendors all in one convenient street eats market. This year’s festival will still offer a smorgasbord of tasty treats, with the added bonus of live music with Dena Zagi, Gordie Tentrees, Kevin Barr and Boyd Benjamin and family-oriented events, including art installations by Nicole Bauberger, buskers, drumstick making with Dennis Shorty and a historical tasting tour.

“Besides providing fun for all, festivals offer a host of economic and social benefits, foster community pride, strengthen relationships and bring communities together. This festival could not have come at a better time for us,” Dan Curtis, City of Whitehorse
Mayor, said via press release.

“YAC is so excited to be partnering with the City of Whitehorse for the Street Eats and Beats Cultural Festival. After enduring the difficulties of the pandemic, this will be an amazing opportunity for Yukoners to come together and celebrate our community through food, music, dance and art. We can’t wait to provide our community a safe space to celebrate all along the waterfront,” said YAC director of programming Michele Emslie.

Things kick off on Thursday, Sept.9, at Shipyards Park, which will be hosting the final Fireweed Market of the 2021 season, and then there’s a children’s festival at the south end of the river at the Visitor Information Centre on Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Emslie says. There’s also an arts market outside of the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre on Saturday, and food trucks at Shipyards all Friday and Saturday. The mainstage will have music and entertainment from local performers, but Emslie says there might also be “some surprises.”

Gordie Tentrees will be one of many local musicians performing at the Street Eats & Beats Cultural Festival Sept. 9-11. Mike Thomas/Yukon Arts Centre.

Starting a new festival during a Pandemic sounds like a daunting task, but Emslie says it’s gone “remarkably well.”

“The challenges, of course, are always never quite knowing where the restrictions are going to be at… and also to prepare for any scenario.There’s a lot of extra challenges and a lot of things to think about. That’s (part of ) the reason that we are doing this with the city,” says Emslie.

“That it’s outside just makes it so much easier for people to distance themselves,” she added. “ As long as the weather cooperates, there will be lots of space for everybody.”

For more information, along with a full schedule of events, visit

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