Residents of Inuvik love their muskrats so much, they named a jamboree after them.

Muskrat Jamboree is a celebration of spring and one of its highlights is … muskrat skinning.

“They trim them from the hind legs and open them up,” says Gerry Kisoun, vice chair of the organizing committee. “Our ladies can skin them in one minute.

“They are fat right now since they have lived under the water and have been filling up nicely.”

Another treat is the “Eskimo Ice Cream”. Kisoun says it is boiled caribou meat that has been frozen and cut up into squares: “You need a lot of energy when walking the

trapline.”

Then there are the usual activities of a spring carnival (when there is still snow on the ground, of course) such as dog mushing, snowmobiling and snowshoe races.

“We turn the river in front of Inuvik into a playground,” says Kisoun.

Inside, there will be fun and games. The Inuvialuit Drummers and Dancers will perform and there will be an old-time dance with fiddle players.

The kids will have their own little carnival that includes a karaoke and a talent show.

“It’s an alcohol-free and drug-free

carnival,” says Kisoun.

“Do something with your kids, don’t sit in front of the television.

“Smile at each other.”

The Muskrat Jamboree runs from April 8 to 10.