What thrills me the most about the Long John Jamboree is the enthusiasm the board and all the volunteers have for the events. We are going into our 3rd Jamboree and it is stronger than ever. Winter festivals are a time to celebrate the coming of spring and they have been happening for as long as Yellowknife has been around, so grab you kids, grab your wife, grab your hats and mitts and let’s get this thing started.
Long John Jamboree details: Friday, March 28th to Sunday, March 30th. Full details at longjohnjamboree.ca
To fully maximize your fun time at the Jamboree I have tried to compile a guide to the Jamboree. If of course you see something worth adding, you let me know below in the comments.
How to dress
Well I did write the “How to Survive Winter in Yellowknife Guide” and in that it does cover the essentials of dressing for winter. I will however note a couple specific to the Jamboree and this weekend. This weekend they are calling for a range of weather: Friday – Snow and -8ºC, Saturday – Sunny and -16ºC and Sunday – Sunny -14ºC. So knowing that I would suggest that you might not need that -40ºC rated Canada Goose. I will however also mention that where the Jamboree site is located on Yellowknife Bay, if there is southern wind you best watch out. Sunglasses are also a good accessory. It does get bright down there on the ice.
Events to watch for
There is always something going on down at the Jamboree site but it is good to know the schedule ahead of time and know when the big events are taking place.
- NWT SPCA Skijoring Race, Sunday, 1pm
- Terriers and Tiaras on the Snow Stage, Saturday, 3pm
- Northern Sled on the Slippery Slope, Sunday 12 pm
- Minute To Win It in the Blow Yer Socks Off tent, Saturday, 2pm
- Flaunt Yer Skivvies on the Snow Stage, Saturday 2pm
- Roughneck Relay at the Snow Stage, Friday, 2-4pm
- Server Relay at the Snow Stage, Sunday 2pm
There is of course tons of other events happening and the best way to find out about them all is to go to longjohnjamboree.ca and look at the official schedule.
How best to view the Ice Carvings
Here is what I have learned over the years. Between today and Saturday the 8 teams will be working on their carvings you when down at the site you can watch them work away. On Sunday you can head down and view the finished work. The ultimate time to view the carvings though is at night (or in the evening) when they are backlit and beautiful. So plan on taking a walk through Saturday evening.
How to watch the Fire & Ice
Fire & Ice is one part music, one part burn and one part fireworks all on Saturday night. The Committed are playing at the Jamboree site at 7:30pm, the Burn on the Bay, where a large wooden structure is burned, will be at 8:40pm and the fireworks show will be at 9pm.
Things to note about watching this event, specifically things we can learn from last year, walking is easier than trying to drive closer. This year the burn object is much closer but I suspect there will still be parking and vehicle issues out on the ice. If you plan to walk, dress warm, but you’ll be better off and avoid the traffic congestion after the show.
What else to watch for
There will be several other things happening throughout the weekend so make sure you plan to see it all
- Snowking Festival – Still going strong there will be events and exhibits at the Snow Castle throughout the weekend. Check out Snowking.ca
- Canadian Mosaic - Tim Van Horn is in town to make a Yellowknife Mosaic for his website. Look for him at the Jamboree.
- 150 Canadian Championship Dog Derby – Mass start each day (Friday-Sunday) at 1pm in between the Snow Castle and Dettah Ice Road.
Check out the full Jamboree schedule here. If all else fails, put your long johns on and just have a chillin good time.