There’s a party goin’ on!

Here’s a taste of how Yukon communities, from B to W, will be celebrating Canada Day on July 1:

Beaver Creek festivities will kick off with a parade, then volleyball, children’s games and a community barbecue at the RCMP.

Carcross festivities will include a community barbecue, as well as a petting zoo and horseback rides for kids.

Carmacks and Pelly Crossing will celebrate with “music between the communities”, says Dennis Mitchell, recreation coordinator for Carmacks. Steve and Andy Slade and local youth will be entertaining both communities.

Dawson City will wake up to celebrations with coffee and muffins at 8 a.m. and will host the Gold Panning Championships, open to sourdoughs and cheechakos, alike.

Destruction Bay will be fishing for over 100 entries in “the biggest fishing derby in the Yukon,” says Loren Maluorno, steering-committee member for the derby. Pretty good, he says, for a village with “more dogs than people” (“56 dogs”, he says — they counted). The derby is June 27 to 29. June 29 celebrations include a steak dinner and dance.

Haines Junction will be unveiling something special during its festivities: Skullpture, a series of 14 carved skulls donated by Shane Wilson.

Keno City will celebrate with a barbecue at the Keno Mining Museum at 1 p.m.

In Mayo, the Na-Cho Nyäk Dun (NND) “sponsors and hosts a steak dinner at every Canada Day”, says Roxanne McGinty, receptionist at NND. “From when I was a little girl, there was always a steak dinner, every year, and it was always the best steak!”

The Mayo Volunteer Fire Department will host a “high-pressure” game. Susan Stuart, administration assistant, says teams shoot water at a ball suspended between poles. “We all get soaking wet. It’s a lot of fun.” Then there’s a pie-eating contest and a slo-pitch tournament at Chipmunk Park. “Chipmunks never come this far north … very rarely,” she says. No chipmunks … just a lot of people and fun.

Old Crow will celebrate Gwitch’in Days, along with a traditional feast. This year, they will have their first-ever Youth Gwitch’in Gathering.

Tagish festivities will include a parade and a yearly favourite, the Fish Pond. “The kids love the Fish Pond,” says Wendi Dawson, recreation director, “and every kid gets a prize.” There’s also a Cake Walk and “an awesome face painter, Change of Face, from Whitehorse,” says Dawson.

Teslin will be hosting a Fish Fry and festivities at Friendship Park.

Watson Lake celebrations will include the Dennis Ball Triathlon beginning at 9 a.m. at the pool and concluding at Lucky Lake for slo-pitch, a blow-up obstacle course, a pie-eating contest and even a dunk tank featuring the swim team.

In Whitehorse, festivities will begin on a full stomach with a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. at Shipyards Park. This year’s parade starts at the Elks Club and travels along Hawkins Street to Keish Street and then to Shipyards Park.

Don’t forget The Great Canadian Yukon River Duck Race. Ducks are available around town, but you’ll have to watch for them (they don’t quack).

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