There are legends – those men and women who left their mark on the Klondike – and that is the theme of this year’s Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous: Legends of the Klondike.
Tiffany Duncan, executive director of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society, is organizing for her first time, yet her enthusiasm is contagious as she describes this opportunity for Yukoners “to embrace the festival and its history”.
The Shipyards Park events will be laid out in a “map of the Yukon” that features Klondike communities and the legends who lived there.
Duncan says the Flour Packing Contest reminds us of those who carried packs over the Chilkoot and that events such as this one help Yukoners to “relate to the experience … It crosses generations.”
The Jenni House (Rendezvous Headquarters), which Duncan says has a story of its own, will be open on the grounds at Shipyards Park.
And this year’s Rendezvous is packed with some new events as well as some old ones that are being reacquainted with the fun.
New, this year, is the Fireworks Extravaganza that will take place Saturday at 8:30 p.m., before the Rendezvous Revue. Also new are craft vendors at the festival and what Duncan calls “a festival within a festival”: KidsFest.
And, Duncan says, they’ve added a second Air North Fiddle Show that will showcase young musicians.
The Queens Ball is “an old event that is being brought back … a formal dance and ball … the last hurrah for the outgoing queen,” Duncan says, “before she hands over the crown at the Queen Crowning event. And it’s a really great opportunity for Yukoners to dress up in costume or ball gown.”
Duncan says “the athlete of all athletes” event is back: the Mad(am) Trapper event, which automatically enters challengers into the Robin Hood Flour Packing competition, the Chainsaw Chuck, the Axe Toss, the Log Toss and the Swede Saw Log-Splitting competition.
One of the most challenging events of Rendezvous, she says, will be the Road Runner Race, the sled dog race from Shipyards Park to the Takhini Hot Springs.
And one of the most daring, she says, will be the Hairy Leg Contest.
Is she entering?
“Oh, no!”she laughs before adding what she considers the rival for this most-daring event (and one of the most unusual): the Yukon Partner Pack (formerly the Wife Carry). Carry her (or him), if you dare, through an obstacle course and over a balance beam, with just one requirement: “Whoever you’re packing has to be at least 120 [pounds].”
There will be a “static” Yukon Sourdough Air Display, this year, and the band Top Cover will be returning to engage and entertain Yukoners.
Duncan would like to encourage families to bring their skates to the park and enjoy the skating loop.
The Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous is a gathering for sourdoughs and cheechakos, alike. “It helps you appreciate what it means to be a Yukoner,” Duncan says, “and it’s a lot of fun.”
The Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society website (www.yukonrendezvous.com) is an excellent guide to what will be happening at this year’s Rendezvous.