I’m happy to record that, except for the arrival of the Sears Wish Book at North 60 Petro Express, everything else related to Christmas here in Dawson City seems to have been content to wait until after Remembrance Day to get started.
‘Tis the season for community gatherings, and the first one to occur was the Little Blue Daycare’s annual Christmas Bazaar, which filled the gym at the Robert Service School on Nov. 14.
While it’s not entirely a craft fair, it is dominated by displays of baked goods, hats, mitts, jewelry and all sorts of things created by talented hands and minds. There are raffles and 50/50 draws for worthy causes, and tables set up to recruit people to various activities and organizations.
It is the largest and most venerable event of the bazaar season, but it’s far from being alone.
Two weekends later the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture holds its annual Christmas Art and Craft Fair at the Odd Fellows Hall, and Dec. 5 brings the series to a close with the Last Minute Bazaar at the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Community Hall.
But that’s not all that’s going on. My wife got the call two weeks earlier to have her St. Paul’s Children’s Choir come and lead the caroling at the Celebration of Lights, held at the Front Street Shelter on Nov. 27. This is an event that started last year with the installation of a whole batch of (secular styled) Christmas lighting along the edge of the Waterfront Park.
They plan for singing, hot food, a ceremony for switching on the lights and a Fun Run (depending on the temperature) along the dyke.
On the same night, the town encourages all citizens and businesses to have their lights ready to switch on at night and shine through the season until after New Year. Not a bad idea to brighten spirits during our darkest month of the year.
The ecumenical Community Choir began twice weekly practices to get ready for the Christmas Eve Service at St. Paul’s Anglican Church on the Sunday after Remembrance Day. The photo shoot for the Christmas Pageant Slide Show took place in late October and the organizers are busily matching the images to the script for the presentation.
Many of the institutions in town have open houses during this same period. The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in plan a community event for Dec. 4.
Rumour has it that the Downtown Hotel is staging an event tentatively called a “High Tea” as a fundraiser for the Klondike Sun newspaper. Raffles for a special gingerbread house will be part of the fun.
The RCMP put on a good spread of stew and chili, with lots of desserts, planned for Dec. 10. An event called the Great Klondike Gingerbread House Decorating Contest will be held on the weekend of the 12th and 13th, though the notice doesn’t say where.
Classes at the Robert Service School will have begun planning for a concert to take place during the last week of school before holidays, while the Saturday of that same week will see the launching of the annual Boat Parade.
A Santa Skate on Dec. 24 will end the recreational events and individual church services will follow the community gathering at St. Paul’s.