Dawson is gearing up to celebrate Canada Day with both new and old traditions. Here’s the scoop!

The biggest change in the Canada Day Parade, this year, is where it will end. With traffic being directed along Fifth Avenue as a main thoroughfare (as a result of sewer and water re-installation blocking the use of Front Street), the City of Dawson has requested that the parade not end in front of the Dawson City Museum, as it has for some years.

The route will still run at 11 a.m. from the Recreation Centre on Fourth Avenue, to Front Street, along to Princess Street and up to Fifth Avenue, but will actually finish in Minto Park, just past the museum. That way, traffic will not be blocked on the street.

Events this year are being coordinated and organized by the Klondike Visitors Association (KVA), and KVA marketing manager, Paul Robitaille, who says the three main groups in charge of the day—the City of Dawson, the Dawson City Museum and KVA—are making an effort to centralize events around Minto Park and the museum grounds.

“Actually, this is a return to how it used to be,” Robitaille said.

The opening of the new concession in the park makes this easier to organize. It will work for food service, and there is also some useful outdoor space.

After the parade, there will be a flag-raising and National Anthem Ceremony in Victory Garden, led by Diamond Tooth Gertie and her Gold Rush Gals and assisted by the RCMP. There will, of course, be speeches and parade awards.

Profits (by donation) from the community barbecue will go to the museum, and there will be live music courtesy of a visiting band, Ten Souljers, who will be in town to play at a wedding the day before.

  • Free birthday cake and watermelon will be followed by kids games and activities.
  • There will be a cricket match from 2 to 4 p.m., at the same time as the free swim at the pool.
  • At four o’clock, Parks Canada will offer a free performance of The Greatest Klondiker Canadian show.
  • Even before Canada Day Sunday, there will be events: the Canada Day Classic Golf Tourney will tee off on June 27 and run through to Sunday.
  • The Yukon River Quest will arrive along the waterfront between June 28 and 30.
  • Saturday will have the usual Farmers’ Market and Artists’ Market at Waterfront Park.
  • That evening, there will be a new event, the Frontier Ball, at the Palace Grand Theatre. It is billed as a fusion of culinary, visual, performing and fashion arts. Organized by a new group called Solid Gold Events, it will be a fundraiser for the annual (S)hiver Winter Arts Festival that takes place in late January each winter.

Canada Day-related events are being sponsored by the Klondike Institute of Art & Culture, Klondike Gold Corp., the Yukon government, Air North, KVA, Dawson City Museum, Gammie Trucking, Victoria Gold Corp., BMO, Parks Canada, and Canadian Heritage.

The crowd gathers for the Maple Leaf raising and “O Canada” in 2017

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