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Yukon Celebrates Winter With World-Class Festivals

August 15, 2017 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Winter in Canada’s Yukon Territory is no time for hibernation. With non-stop winter events and festivals, and a vast night sky resplendent with shimmering, dancing northern lights, Australian travellers can live like a local at cultural, musical, and culinary events. Check out three of Yukon’s most unique festivals taking place this winter.

  1. The Yukon Quest 

The world-famous Yukon Quest will awaken to the howls of hundreds of sled dogs as they begin their momentous two-week journey across the glistening, icy wilderness of northwest Canada, on 3 February, 2018. Groups of 14 canines led by one human ‘musher’ will race over 1600 kilometres between Whitehorse and Fairbanks, Alaska. One thing is certain: not every team will make it to the end as they battle 40 below zero temperatures at this quintessential Yukon event in pursuit of the championship title.

Visitors from around the world will flock to the city of Whitehorse to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Quest, including live music and celebrations as the mushers and their sled dogs gather on the starting line.

  1. Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous

The capital city of Whitehorse comes alive during its annual winter carnival, Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, taking place from 16 – 25 February 2018. Visitors to Whitehorse will be treated to some wacky entertainment that reflects the good-humoured nature of the locals, with lip syncing, hair freezing, cross-dressing, and even beard growing competitions. In addition to fantastic musical entertainment, concerts and snow carving, kids have the time of their lives at Kidsfest, complete with Slide and Glide on the toboggan hill, face painting, and traditional fare such as the egg toss and potato sack races. The best part? It’s all free of charge – because that’s the spirit of Yukon.

  1. Thaw di Gras

Aussie travellers heading to Yukon at the end of winter are just in time to attend Dawson City’s signature event, Thaw di Gras. The whole town buzzes during this lively community event with activities and competitions from the serious to the outrageous, all free of charge.

Take to the stage at Diamond Tooth Gerties, Canada’s oldest casino, for the ultimate lip-syncing competition, join the hockey tournament on the frozen streets of Dawson, check out the snow sculptures, and enjoy the carnival atmosphere with live music and endless merriment.

The township of Dawson City is often likened to a movie set, with its historical buildings and wooden boardwalks that hearken back to the famous Klondike gold rush era of 1898.
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Air Canada has daily direct flights to Vancouver from Sydney and Brisbane, with connecting flights to Whitehorse and Dawson City available on Air North.

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