With winter winding down and spring being sprung upon us, March brings loads of end of season activities going on around the North. Every season has it’s unique events to enjoy in this beautiful area of the world, and in Yellowknife – it is no exception.
My appreciation for the North and all its endless splendor is unwavering. It is a land of extremes. From climate, weather to beauty. It will never cease to amaze you. I continually feel proud and very lucky to be able to call this majestic area of the world my roots, and my home.
Having enjoyed my first full winter back in the NWT in many years due to my global adventuring, I have made it a point to take in as much as I possibly can. This past weekend I went to Yellowknife, NWT, where I had the extreme pleasure of checking off a few long awaited boxes yearning to be ticked in my endless pursuit of life – and all in one epic weekend none the less.
So here are my top three not to be missed March activities that I enjoyed in Yellowknife, NWT.
1- The Snowking Festival
For the last 22 years they spend two months in -30c temperatures, constructing a massive ice castle on the frozen bay, in which they call ‘The Snowking‘.
It is extremely impressive, and also boasts incredible snow sculptures in and around it’s premises.
For the whole month of March the Snowking festival includes all sorts of live shows for all ages to enjoy, art exhibits, and rock bands, as well as film festivals. It’s truly a work of art.
I was diggin the ice tables.
It’s a grand structure and you can’t help but to appreciate it, especially with all the hard work and conditions that are braved in order to construct it. It proudly brings the community together in a very positive way. Having seen photos’s of it for so long, I knew it was about time that I feast my eyes on it. Let me tell you – It did not dissapoint.
2. The Long John Jamboree
Held right beside the Snowking for 3 days in March is the annual Long John Jamboree. With a jam packed weekend of awesome events ranging from curling, to igloo building demonstration, and a snow beach volleyball tournament, just to name a few. You can kick it in the ‘Brrrr garden’ and have a cold brewski while taking in some live music and playing some trivia. Or perhaps an ice skating disco is what you are after. The events are imaginative and endless. Fun for the whole family.
One of the highlights of the Jamboree is their ‘Burn on the Bay’.
Burn on the bay is where they lite up a big wooden structure on the ice in the bay to have what was hands down the biggest bonfire I have ever experienced in my life.
It was so cool, and pretty intense when you are standing right beside it.
The whole jamboree brought the community together and then some. I would absolutely go back to experience more of it again next year.
3. Enjoy some Dog Mushing at Arctic Village
How did I not even know this place existed after growing up in the North?! Probably one of the coolest places I have ever been in the North. I have always wanted to dog mush, like seriously, for a very very long time. I was stoked that we were invited to go on this little adventure.
Little did I know the grand experience Arctic Village offers. From Dog Mushing to Teepee’s, onward to heated viewing seats to bask in the Northern lights spectacular show for longer periods of time in the harsh winter weather.
I was enamored instantly by this beautiful winter paradise.
My ridiculously excited state soared when it came time to finally try my hand out at dog sledding. It rocked my adventuring souls world.
I was in the drivers seat for the mush, and the break is a rubber square you have to step on when directed ‘break on’. Let me tell you, when you are in the drivers seat and you have to step on that break pad, you best hang on tight! Otherwise, you will go flying off the back. Which luckily – I did not.
Our guide Kevin, was so knowledgeable and has a real passion for his job. He made the whole experience that much more memorable.
It’s amazing how when these dogs are running a sled, they have massive smiles on their faces. You can see they truly love what they do.
We were lucky enough to meet Diego, whom was the lead dog in the Disney movie ‘Eight Below’. Now the ripe old age of 17, he ain’t no pup anymore. Still such a sweet dog though!
I was super intrigued by Skookum the one eyed sled dog. From what I was told the poor little fella lost his eye in a fight. But he is still happy as can be, and one heck of a little musher.
Seeing as how there is also a slide there with tubes, there was no way I could not go for a rip before departing.
Nothing like a small spike of adrenaline to top off the weekend.
How can you not love that really?!
I will absolutely be visiting Aurora Village once again. I want to sit in those heated seats under the Northern lights with a nice warm drink.
Let me tell you, this was an epic and jammed packed weekend visit to Yellowknife. I was able to experience so many things that I have waited so long to do. Making checks on my list in life is what I live for. No matter how long the box waits, it’s only a matter of time before it gets that big ol’ check.
If you are planning a trip to Yellowknife in the month of March one of these years, then I say do it on this particular weekend. That way you can experience the Snow King, and the Long John Jamboree, all in one weekend, topping it off with and unforgettable dog mushing adventure. Northern adventures, continually setting the bar.