Our Klondike Kate

Gillian Campbell and the Snowshoe Shufflers performed at Gertie's March 8 and 9.

Gillian Campbell and the Snowshoe Shufflers gave Trekkers a classic, gold rush show at Gertie’s on March 8 and 9.

Story by Lisa McKenna
Photos by Alice Thompson

Gillian Campbell was at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s this past weekend and it was a show to remember.

Gillian has entertained in Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, all over the States, including Disneyland and Disney World. She has also entertained all through Alaska and Canada, once spending five years as Edmonton’s Kate during their Klondike celebrations.

She owns over $100,000 in original gowns, hats, jewelry and boas! And they are stunning.

The evening started out with the Snow Shoe Shufflers, who were awesome as usual. They even had a subliminal message attached to their upper regions welcoming the Trek over the Top boys and girls to Dawson and their 20th anniversary of the meet.

After a brief pause, the Snow Shoe girls came out to mingle with the customers and four beautiful young ladies, dressed in full regalia, entertained us with a dance.

Then what we all had been waiting for – Gillian Campbell stepped out on the stage wearing a fiery red gown, hat, and, of course, the boa. She came out into the audience and had her trademark banter going out to everyone.

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Some of you all know Joey from the Downtown Hotel. Well, she had him up on stage “shaking his bootie”. Every time she called him “Ducky” he turned bright red. It was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time.

Then she sang Happy Birthday to a man in the audience and made another woman from the audience bestow the birthday kiss!

Another short break followed as Mr. Shiny Shoes (Ron Thompson, aka Smiley) came out on stage dressed in gold and black, and his fingers danced upon the strings making his banjo sound unlike any instrument I have ever heard. He was fantastic.

Now the stage was taken over by four “flappers” in bright red shimmy dresses. Talk about energy! One could become exhausted just watching them. Needless to say they were fantastic as well.

Then back she came unto the stage. This time she was wearing a long back gown, a black boa, and a beautiful black hat ringed in bright red roses. Gillian led the crowd in a sing-a-long with such old favorites as Shine on Harvest Moon and Heart of my Heart.

Then the fun began again. Thomas was brought up on stage and was given this wicked tongue twister that was about a girl named Suzie who was sitting in a shoeshine shop…. He did extremely well. Congratulations Thomas!

Then the Shufflers gathered up eight unsuspecting fellows and put them on stage. There they were, dressed up in red long johns and some crazy hats, and led through a slightly disorganized cancan. Then the men were sent off to find eight unsuspecting women. They danced to “hands and knees” and got faster, and faster, and faster still, until they broke up into uncontrollable laughter.

After a few more songs, Gillian gave thanks to the crowd and balloons were released. Have you ever seen more than 50 people, all over the age of 19, most over the age of 40 or 50, playing with a bunch of balloons? I laughed so hard tears ran down my face.

Thanks Gillian.

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