“Forty-four and so much more” is more than just a slogan around the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous offices as it prepares its 44th winter carnival.

Executive director Harold Sher says strategic planning sessions last fall turned into a “walk down memory lane” as they looked at its historical roots, talked to old-timers – and new timers – and found that the public wants to stick with Rendezvous’ formula.

So, some traditional events have returned this year while some additional events, that are traditionally based, have been added. Still others have been improved.

Sled dog races have made a return this year. Each of the races will begin at Shipyards Park, which will be the site of Sourdough Rendezvous again this year.

Also returning are the Sam Events. Except, this time, they won’t be sponsored by the bars. Sher says this is a highlight of many young adults: “It is a highlight of their Rendezvous.”

New this year will be mostly family oriented events such as the Yukon Energy Family Wilderness Survival Contest. One adult and three children (to include all definitions of “family”) will collect wood, cut it, split it, build a fire and boil water in a kettle.

Then there is the Royal Bank/Better Bodies Wife Carrying Championships. It involves an obstacle course with a man and woman attached in some way and only one of them in contact with the ground.

And there is the Fountain Tire Log Toss.

Improvements include moving the Hairy Leg Contest, Beard Contest and Tattoo Contest to the Bell Zone Tent on Sunday evening during the Rendezvous Revue. It will be free to the public.

Providing music will be the United States Air Force Top Cover Band from Alaska and world-reknown fiddler Calvin Vollrath from Edmonton.

“For fiddle people, this is like Elvis Presley coming to play,” says Sher.

The Queen’s Crowning on the Saturday evening will be a more glamorous event with a lot of time and energy by volunteers put into decorating and lighting.

The weekend of fun is Feb. 22 to 24. More information is available at www.yukonrendezvous.com.