Thursday, 19 April 2012

Yukon festivals a treat for the senses

Yukon festivals a treat for the senses
Music, other events add to summer magic

From soothing sounds for the ears right down to lively dancing feet, summer music festivals in the Yukon are a treat for all the senses.

Along with the rhythmic talents of performers such as David Lindley, Blue Highway, the Gibson Brothers and Annie Lou, the atmosphere of 24-hour sunlight and Klondike gold rush culture makes attending one of the territory's festivals an event to be cherished.

If you go:

Annual Sheep & Crane Viewing Festival, May 11 to 13

A major North American migration of Sandhill cranes funnels through the "Birdlock of Sandhill Cranes Highway," swooping, soaring and riding thermals over the town of Faro en route to nesting grounds in western Alaska and northeastern Siberia. Admire unique Fannin's sheep and enjoy natural history walks and talks while you're there. (

Commissioner's Tea and Klondike Ball, June 9

Steeped in tradition and nostalgia for the region's rich and flavourful history, the annual Commissioner's Tea is co-hosted by Parks Canada, IODE and the Commissioner on the lawns of the grand Commissioner's Residence in Dawson City, Yukon. Dress up in your 1898-era finest to sip tea, then dance the night away at the Klondike Ball at the Palace Grand Theatre. (

Pelly Valley Festival, July 28

This family friendly festival features storytellers, guided hikes, art demonstrations and workshops, a bocce tournament and wild game BBQ, all taking place at the Campbell Region Interpretive Centre. (

Discovery Day Celebrations, Dawson City, Aug. 16 to 19

In August 1896, three Yukon sourdoughs — George Carmack, Dawson Charlie and Skookum Jim — discovered gold in what is now called Bonanza Creek, kick-starting one of the world's greatest gold rush stampedes. Celebrate the history behind the creation of the Yukon Territory with crafts, face painting, walking tours, cake, historical street theatre, Mounties in red serge and Diamond Tooth Gerties' Can Can dancers.

Five days of events include: Authors on Eighth, celebrating iconic northern writers Robert Service, Jack London and Pierre Berton; Yukon Riverside Arts Festival, with interactive artist tents and musicians; Discovery Day 10-kilometre run; Discovery Days Golf Tournament featuring nine holes lit by the midnight sun; and Klondike Valley Mud Bog, where monster trucks and other creative vehicles race across a mud bog. Bring earplugs! (

Great Klondike International Outhouse Race, Sept. 1

Appreciate a whole new meaning of Labour Day with this scavenger hunt and race involving decorated outhouses on wheels. Visitors are encouraged to participate — outhouses are supplied. (

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