It’s that time of year again, when it’s totally normal to see girls walking around in period costume, when men compete in beauty pageants, when that guy with the really long beard who comes into the restaurant you work at starts talking about the medal he hopes to win.  

And this year is no different: the Sourdough Sams will compete in women’s lingerie, the women will compete to be the best axe thrower and everyone will, most likely, have a drink or two.

But there are a few new things. Here are, as Executive Director Dave Blotter calls them, the top three highlights.

First, big-time fiddler Natalie McMaster is performing at the Thursday night fiddle show. People were so excited about this that the tickets sold out within a few days.

Also new is Rendezvous’ partnership with the Boys and Girls club, who are revitalizing Kidsfest.

“They’ve more than tripled the amount of activities taking place in Shipyards Park,” Blotter says, “and professional youth workers will be staffing it all day.”

Among these activities are things like the Family Wilderness Survival competition.

The other exciting new event is the East Meets North Kitchen Party, going down in the performance tent the last Saturday of the festival.

“We’ve been aiming for the vibe of an old fashioned East coast kitchen party,” Blotter says. With performers like Kevin Barr from the Yukon and special guest fiddler Donnell Leahy from Ontario, the party will be a touch of Northern music with a touch of Eastern.

“It’ll have an old school East coast feeling to it,” Blotter says.

Due to popular demand the Steampunk Ball is back this year, which, Blotter says, people have been requesting – and working on their costumes for – since it ended last year.

Other festivities to look out for are the casino in the Yukon Inn’s Fireside Room, the Sugar Shack and annual pancake breakfasts will round out the day hours, and Mt. Sima will be building a mini terrain snowboard park at Shipyards Park.

If you’re feeling competitive, but not enough to throw axes around, the Royal Canadian Legion will be hosting a handful of their own smaller competitions, like a chili contest, crib and horseshoe and Texas hold ‘em. They’ll also host a few dinner and dance nights.

And of course, a Queen will be crowned, and a Sourdough Sam will be named – two competitions with a very long history. The Queens, who compete for four months leading up to Rendezvous, have been a part of the festival every year since the Hougen Group of Companies  started Rendezvous 52 years ago. The Sourdough Sams are younger, but have still been around for about 30 years.

Blotter estimates the final weekend of Rendezvous attracts up to 20,000 tourists.

The goal with Rendezvous, he says, is to have “something for everyone.”

The Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous runs Feb. 19 to 28 at various locations in Whitehorse. For more information about things to do go to www.YukonRendezvous.com.


Rendezvous Highlights

Wednesday February 24

Superstar!

Yukon Arts Centre

7 p.m.


Thursday February 25

Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournaments

Royal Canadian Legion No 254, 503 Steele St.

Sign up by 6 p.m., starts 6:30 p.m.

Fiddle Show

Yukon Arts Centre

7 p.m.


Friday February 26

2016 Yukon Literacy Coalition Rendezvous Spelling Bee

YTG Administration Building – Main Foyer

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fiddle Show Matinees

Yukon Arts Centre  

“Around the World” – Cultural Event

Shipyards Park – Shaw Direct Performance Tent

6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Steampunk Ball 2.0: Tesla Boogaloo

Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre

8:30 p.m.


Saturday February 27

Family Wilderness Survival Contest

Shipyards Park

Trans Canada Trail Hard Water Canoe Races

4 p.m.

Queen Crowning

Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre

Door 5:30 p.m.

Skookum Jim Folklore Show

Yukon Arts Centre

Doors 7 p.m. show 8 p.m.

Rendezvous At Night: Pyro Musical

Shipyards Park

8:30 p.m.

Party on the Waterfront: East Meets North Kitchen Party

Shaw Direct Performance Tent

9 p.m. – 12 a.m.

$25 door/$30 advance with proceeds to Kidsfest    


Sunday February 28

What’s Up Yukon Aurora Colour Wars!

1:30 p.m.

Rendezvous Wrap-Up Parade

3 p.m.