Thaw Di Gras is winter’s ‘going-away party’

The closer you get to the Arctic Circle, the more you deserve a good blow out as the end of winter approaches.

Instead of shaking a fist of good riddance to the snow and cold, the good people of Dawson City party with it.

The annual Thaw Di Gras Spring Carnival kicks off Thursday, March 13, with a night of gambling and merriment at Diamond Tooth Gerties, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Then it ends on the Sunday with a rare Yukon fireworks display at 9 p.m. on the Ice Bridge.

In between are so many events that the Klondike Visitors Association is constantly updating the schedule.

“It’s because we have so many community groups,” says Bill Holmes, marketing manager for the KVA. “There are lots of additions at the last minute.”

But some events that have been locked in include the popular lip sync contest at Gerties on Friday from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Explaining the difference between lip sync and karaoke, Homes says, “They pick a song, theme it with costumes and props and take it to the nth degree.”

The next day, from 3 to 5 p.m., the youth get their own chance to strut their stuff to music.

Again, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., the casino will be open.

Also, on Saturday, there will be a pancake breakfast at the curling club and a Sourdough Dog Show at Gerties.

And the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture sponsors a snow sculpture contest. Judging will take place on Sunday and the prizes will be awarded.

On Sunday, there will be a pancake breakfast at the curling club again, but this time there will also be a turkey shoot.

Holmes explains that the closest rock to the center wins the turkey.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Westminister Hotel hosts a Chile Cook Off: “I heard some of the concoctions were very interesting,” says Holmes. Chicken and game meats are employed for something unique and tasty.

On Moose Mountain, behind The Dome, from noon to 5 p.m., the ski hill will be open.

And from noon to 2 p.m., the One Dog Pull will determine the lucky winners of dog food.

From 2 to 4 p.m., in the parking lot of Diamond Tooth Gerties, there will be various events that starts with a Tea Boiling Contest. Holmes says competitors run to one end of the parking lot to gather up branches and then race back to the other side to make a fire to boil the tea.

The added benefit is spectators then have tea to drink while they take in the rest of the events.

There will be an egg toss, that has involved up to 40 people, and a tug of war that looks for interesting matches, such as parents vs. kids. “No mud to fall in,” says Holmes. “Just a painted line.”

And the local branch of the CIBC will be placing four rolls of loonies into a haystack for the kids to find. This event is called, of course, Needle In A Haystack.

Holmes says many visitors come from Pelly Crossing and Mayo, but not a lot come from Whitehorse: “We would love to have them come up and join and frolic.”

The KVA will fax an updated schedule to anyone who calls at 993-5575. Or people may download a PDF of the schedule from

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