Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous
Whitehorse , Yukon
A winter carnival with a true northern flavor, the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, celebrates the 1890s, sourdoughs (veteran inhabitants of Canada’s Yukon Territory), the Yukon and the Klondike Gold Rush with exciting events like the Flour Packing Competition, the Axe Toss, the Chainsaw Chuck, a Kidsfest, Airshow, dog sled races, Fiddle Show, the Yukon Electrical Queen Tea and Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Can-Can dancers and the Snow-shoe Shufflers.
photo: Tasty sugar treats in the snow at the Sugar Shack - courtesy Yukon Government
In the Flour Packing competition, men and women carry huge loads of flour on their backs and stagger along under the protective shadow of a mobile gantry and painfully step out the 15 metre (11 metres for women) course.
The event has its origins in the Yukon gold rush of ’98, when the North West Mounted Police would not let prospectors into the territory without 2,000 pounds of supplies. Many learnt to carry huge loads on their backs.
Other unusual events include the Solid Gold Communications Axe Throw in which participants throw a full sized axe at a target 40 feet away attempting to come as close to the bulls eye as possible, and the Chainsaw Chuck in which competitors throw their no longer working chainsaws as far as possible - an idea that began when workers needed to relieve the frustration of broken power tools.
There is even a Wife Carry (now called the Partner Pack), in which either partner, man or woman, must carry the other over a specified route, and the ever popular Beard Growing, Hairy Leg, and Tattoo Contest – open to both men and women!
A tradition for almost 50 years, the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival transforms downtown Whitehorse into an outdoor carnival location as streets are blocked off for the wide range of games, contests and fun.
Most of the activities during the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous three-day festival take place at Shipyards Park, with other events happening around the city. The Rendezvous air show is staged at the Eric Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport.
For more information about the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous visit the official web site at http://www.yukonrendezvous.com/