It’s perhaps still a bit wintery by March 15, but that is the annual date when Dawson City celebrates what is nearly the end of that season with its Thaw di Gras “Spring” carnival. The event runs over a weekend, from March 15 to 17.
If climate change doesn’t make too many changes there will be more than enough snow for snow sculptures and at least one of the days will be sunny. Some people will even find that their winter gear is a bit too warm for physical activities like tossing logs, chainsaws, and axes, snowshoe baseball, road hockey, dog sled races and mini-golf in the snow.
Not everything will take place outside. Most of the establishments in town will have some kind of indoor activity such as arm wrestling, hat toss, bum darts (don’t ask), pancake breakfast, turkey shoot and live music in several venues around the town. There are also dog and cat shows where folks can show off their pets.
Diamond Tooth Gerties will be open for the weekend and the Snowshoe Shufflers will be on hand. For the first time in years, Saturday night will see a scaled-down show featuring Gertie and some of her girls, as well as a fiddle band from Whitehorse.
Back outside there will be a crok-a-curl (that’s Crokinole with curling rocks), an air rifle shoot held by the Legion and the Rangers, the Great KVA Egg Toss, Yukon Order of Pioneers tea boiling, a one-dog pull contest (just like in Call of the Wild) and fireworks over the river.
Sunday afternoon is the always the busiest time, with the parking lot at Gerties filled by a large crowd taking part in activities for young and old. The junior and senior egg toss is one of the favorites, especially for the ravens. Maybe its only equal, in terms of excitement, is the loonie and toonie in a haystack events, which has separate heats for different age groups.
Youngsters will also enjoy the go-skate event at the arena. Gerties will be the venue for lip sync events for kids in the afternoon and for adults in the evening.
The KVA’s Andy Cunningham notes that Air North is putting on extra flights for the weekend, as they have before. More and more people seem to want to come to Dawson’s late winter blow-out, where most of the events are within walking distance of each other and most of them are free.