Story and photo by Dan Davidson
The Discovery Days Celebrations continued to provide a variety of activities for young and old, for artists and mud boggers and for those who either watch events or get involved in them.
Activities stretched from Thursday to Monday, with a slight pause on Tuesday before a special event on the actual Discovery Day, Wednesday, August 17.
Cultural celebrations led the way, with the 11th edition of the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival beginning on August 11, and the annual Authors on Eighth Tour that same afternoon.
For those wanting something more gold related, there was panning to be done at both Goldbottom and the Discovery Claim, as well as a tour of Dredge #4.
Friday was big on activities or kids, with a pool party, clowning and hula-hoop workshops. Adults and those of a culinary inclination gathered at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre to meet with boreal herbalist and author Beverly Gray as well as DZ interpreter Fran Morberg Green to talk about Yukon plants and share a cup of wild crafted tea.
Friday was also the beginning of the annual Fastball Tournament, which ran until Sunday evening.
For those who were hungry Saturday began at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where the congregation from St. Paul’s Anglican had prepared a breakfast of sourdough pancakes and sausages.
People were able to finish up there in time to line the streets for the annual parade. It’s not a big parade, taking about 15 minutes to pass any given point, but it takes about 45 minutes to cover the route. It as led by the Midnight Sun Piper Band, which was able to work Dawson into its schedule again this year. The crowd was especially happy to see Sgt. Dave Wallace on a horse leading the contingent of Mounties.
There were a number of very effective and humorous floats this year. The City of Dawson Administration put together a live-action cartoon featuring many of the issues that have dominated council meetings since last year. Bill Bowie’s Arctic Inland Resources float featured a woodcutter who met an unfortunate end.
The awards were announced in Victory Gardens, with Major Peter Jenkins and MLA Steve Nordick sharing the microphone.
Non- Profit Awards
1. Highland Games
2. Dawson City Chamber of Commerce
3. Francophone Society, for the Great Klondike Mustaches
1. Arctic Inland Resources
2. Gammie Trucking
3. Juliet’s Manor
1. Visitor Information Centre
2. Dawson City Administration
3. Dawson Recreation Dept.
Best Overall Float
Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre
They also announced the Yard Awards, which went to Bombay Peggy’s, Laurie McRory & Eric Zalitis and Jody Beaumont.
While the Yukon Order of Pioneers organized kids games around the Museum and Victory Garden and everyone lined up or hot dogs and cake, members of the Whitehorse Legion No. 254 gathered at the Eagle Plot in Dawson’s Hillside Cemetery to rededicate the monument and plaque honouring three members of the Eagles who lost their lives in the Second World War.
Downtown, there was Indian Bingo and an evening square dance at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre to close off the day.
The big event on Sunday was the Mud bog in the North End lot from 10 a.m. to around 3 p.m.
Monday was a quiet day with the pool available for regular swimming.
Skipping to Wednesday, close to 160 people gathered at the Discovery Claim for the official opening of the new trail and exhibits.