When I learned I was going to Dawson City, Yukon for 3 days, it also happened to coincide with one of their two biggest annual festivals: Spring Thaw Di Gras Carnival and the Dawson City Music Festival, which, by the way, my friend Matt Sobb will be starring in this summer with his band Monkey Junk. Just throwing that in there…
Now, I come from Wakefield, Québec, where we have quite a few annual festivals worth noting: Dragon Fest, Wakefest, Wakefield International Film Festival, Harvest Festival, Rupert Carnival, and others I know I’m forgetting. But Thaw Di Gras was one of the most engaging, seriously fun carnivals I have ever been to.
On Friday afternoon, I’d posted something on Facebook, mentioning the fact that I was in Dawson City. My aforementioned friend Matt Sobb commented that his stepdaughter was visiting her grandparents and to keep my eyes peeled for a blond girl with a pink Canada Goose coat. Dawson City is quite a small town and I knew that with the spring carnival happening, chances were pretty good that I might find her. I charged my group with the mission of helping me find the girl in the pink coat.
Barely 2 hours later, we were sitting down to dinner in The Drunken Goat restaurant when Mike caught my attention and nodded in the direction of a family who just settled into a corner table. I looked over to see among them a young lady with blond hair shedding her pink Canada Goose coat. I hopped over to the table and asked, “Are you Matt Sobb’s stepdaughter?” The puzzled look on her face made me laugh.
“Yeeess,” she said tentatively. “What’s going on?”
I asked her if I could get her picture for Facebook and then I’d tell her what’s going on. She agreed and then her grandmother slid out from beside her so I could have my picture taken with her. She’s an excellent sport is all I can say! After Kat snapped our photo, I explained that I’m a friend of her stepdad’s, from Wakefield. At that moment, a woman walked into the restaurant and piped up, “I’m from Wakefield!” It turned out she is the daughter of a local woman I know. It was a truly bizarre few minutes.
After a filling dinner, we headed over to Diamond Tooth Gertie’s, a casino that, in its high season, features stage shows. On this particular evening, there was a lip syncing competition taking place as part of Thaw Di Gras. We knew it would be packed, so we draped our coats on 4 chairs around one of the dozen large, round tables that seated 10 or so and spent an hour losing money at the slots. When we were finished, we headed back to our table to settle in for the show which was going to begin soon. I was shocked to see Matt’s stepdaughter’s family sitting at our table!
On Saturday we all dove right into the festivities. We began with the tricycle competition. Each participant raced a tricycle through a local bar known as “The Pit”. You climb on and wait for the “Ready! Set! Go!” and then pump those legs as hard as you can, following a course set out by masking tape arrows: through a sea of people holding heap beer while cheering you on, through a doorway into another room, around a pool table and back to the starting point. Part of the fun is having to dodge folks who walk through the door as you’re racing through, hoping they’ll hop out of your way so you don’t cause a tricycle/people pileup.
Next, we took part in the game “Minute to Win It”. Teams were as follows:
Awesome Dawson – Kat, Mike & Jasmine
Erin2 (Erin squared) – Erin & Erin
Adam was our photographer extraordinaire.
If you’ve ever seen the television show, “Minute to Win It” features tasks and activities that are mostly silly and often challenging. You must complete each task within one minute. Following are a few photos of us having way too much fun.
Final tally? Awesome Dawson kicked our butts! But after other teams played, neither of us landed first nor last place. But we all had such an amazing time, smiles were plastered on our faces for the rest of the day (still are a week later).
Stay tuned for more game show fun in my next post.
P.S. I must give credit to Erin and Mike who came up with the title, used in a Tweet; I had to steal it.