What are those?
What are they for?
Five-year-old Nash Battersby is about to school me in the art of winning prizes at the Fun Fair at Whitehorse Elementary School, this Friday and Saturday.
The whiffle balls are thrown into the nine-hole grid and, well, everyone knows what needs to be done.
Nash is fast. Wickedly fast. But there must have been a crosswind in the Sport Yukon hallway, because he failed to get three in a row.
“You have to aim it and throw it down low,” he says during his post-game interview, demonstrating an underhand motion.
Then, he tries it again.
Three for three; He got the middle, horizontal row.
“You won the big prize,” says his mother, Cali Battersby. “Do you know what it is?”
Then she kisses him on the cheek. He accepts it gladly.
Cali explains that she played this game, herself, as a youngster. Then, when she was a youth soccer player, she helped run the games.
Now, she is the Yukon Soccer Association’s sports administrator and she is helping organize the annual fundraiser to support the Strikers’ traveling teams.
“All the sides of it are pretty neat to see, just how much work goes into it for the two days.”
Cali says planning started in December, to decide roles, and then organizing went into full swing three weeks before the event.
But she, and the other organizers, draw on their own soccer skills:
“The teamwork,” she says. “There is a lot of getting people to work together and making sure they have the information they need.
“And lots of heavy lifting.”
Nash’s big brother, eight-year-old Thayer, demonstrates the Ring Toss. If you get a ring over the bottle and the block of wood it is standing on, you win a pop.
He gets better and better as he goes.
“You throw underhand,” he says. “And you should try to stand in the middle so that you can aim for all of them.
“If one is just hanging on the block, you can knock it with another.”
But that is enough demonstrating for this day. He has to be 100 per cent for his hockey game later.
Cali says the admission is one dollar and then the tickets to play the games are 25 cents each.
There are lots of prizes:
“We have little cars, there’s stickers, there’s temporary tattoos, there’s bouncy balls … you name it, we have it,” says Cali.
“The Cake Walk, too,” her husband, Bryn Battersby, reminds her.
“The Cake Walk?” she replies. “Yeah, you win a whole cake.
“Our U-12 girls usually volunteer to run the Cake Walk and they bake the cakes.
“It’s just like musical chairs. You walk around the chairs to the music and you sit in a chair and if they pull the number of your chair, you win a cake.
“You just have to be good at walking and sitting … and you don’t even have to be good at that, either,” she adds.
Then there is the Fish Pond and Darts.
“Oh yeah,” says Cali. “You have to pop those balloons.
“And we have air rifles that shoot corks,” she adds. “That’s always a favourite.”
Acknowledging potential concerns, she says, “It is all very controlled and it is all very well maintained.
“We have a lot of hunters here, so people are a little less paranoid about it and the kids seem to know what they are doing.”
There are 15 activities in total. And there is the Bingo game that runs both days in the other part of the gymnasium.
It’s a good thing there is a concession downstairs.
“If you are looking for a place not to get a headache, that is the place to be,” says Cali.
“The Under 16 girls team is running the concession. They are going to the Nationals and the Westerns this year.
“They’ll have chips and pop and hot dogs and the usual junk food you would get at a Fun Fair.”
The Yukon Soccer Association has been running the Fun Fair for almost 20 years as an affiliate with the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous.
It will be open noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb 13 and Saturday, Feb 14 at Whitehorse Elementary School.
Meanwhile, outside at Shipyards Park, Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous has its own children’s events, called KidsFest!. All of these activities and shows are free for those 15 years of age and younger.
Starting on Friday, at 11 a.m., and ending at 3 p.m., there will be the Slide ‘N Glide and Dog Sled Workshops and Rides.
Then, on Saturday, the Dog Sled Workshop and Rides continue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. while the 2685 “The Yukon Regiment” Family Wilderness Survival Contest starts at 11 a.m.
There will be other activities in the park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Kids’ Activities continue Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a Pie Eating Contest at 1 p.m.
At 1:30 p.m., there will be the Ping Pong Ball Drop.
And the grand finale will be family entertainer Fred Penner with two free shows in the Main Tent. His first show is at 10 a.m. and the second is at noon.