Top 3 Activities To Enjoy In A Festival Filled March Weekend In Yellowknife NWT

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.

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One of the highlights of the Jamboree is their ‘Burn on the Bay’.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Seeing as how there is also a slide there with tubes, there was no way I could not go for a rip before departing.

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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.

 

That’s a Catch!!:)

When in the Northwest Territories Capital city of Yellowknife, a must stop for some incredible ‘Fish & Chips’  is Bullock’s Bistro. Located in the Old Town, in an old building full of character, run by a very friendly and talented chef named Andre,  it is one of my absolute favorite restaurants. Ever. 🙂 Any time I am back in home in Northern Canada, and in YK, I make it a point to go and eat there.

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What are you waiting for?! Come on in!

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It is by no means a high end restaurant, its more of a relaxed environment, where you can just chill out, take a load off and give your tastebuds a run for their money.  You can help yourself to the drink fridge, unless its a Alcohol filled beverage you are after, in which case you will have to ask for assistance. b10 There is a tiny patio outside as well, where in the summer you can enjoy the ambiance of the outdoors while deliting your palate.

It’s considered a bit pricey by some, with a fish and chip meal begining at about $26, but the fish is fresh from the ‘Great Slave Lake’, and you get a good portion, with fresh cut chips(not sure if he picked the potatoes himself tho, a salad, and ridiculously delicious hot out of the oven buns. b4 On a day where the reel won’t stop turning, and there are lots of  good catches,  you can be lucky enough to have the wide array of options that consist of Whitefish, Cod, Pike, Trout, Pickerel, and Arctic Char.

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I don’t know, but I do not mind paying the price for the quality, and freshness.  It is well worth it.

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One thing Bullock’s in known for is their secret sauce they make, that you pour on your fish.  It truly is delicious!! Hmmm, and as would everyone else, I want to know what’s in it!! They also have a really delicious home made feta dressing for the salad, which I thoroughly enjoyed! 😉b6  All these little touches just add to the dining experience.  If you want to get into the true spirit of visiting this little Bistro, then you can grab a pen and leave your mark on the wall.  The whole place is covered in people’s markings;) So of course I got right in there!! Gotta keep the traditions rollen on!:)

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Make sure you go there with an appetite and sweat pants.  Cause you are gonna leave full and your top button of your pants undone.  Yes, if you want a truly nothern experience, in a way that you don’t have to physically go out and catch some fish yourself(although, that’s always fun too!), then ‘Bullock’s Bistro’ is a great choice, and will provide you with nothing less then a memorable experience.  DeeeeLish!!

It was a Folken Good Time!:)

So here I am back on my Northern Canadian soil, and once again, at the annual ‘Folk on the Rocks’ festival in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I love attending any folk fest I can, and well music festivals in general, but particularly this one. Not to be Bias just because I am from this neck of the woods;) But seriously, its stunning up here, and nice that I always get to catch up with old friends. This time around, it was a little up in the air if the roads from my side of the lake to Yellowknife were going to be open, as there are over 180 forest fires burning around the NWT at this moment, and alot of them in this area, and the roads were being closed and opened, as they fought and contained the fires. The roads were super smoky!!  So everything was happening moment to moment. I kept on top of checking the highway conditions.. And when it came time for me to hit the road, all signs pointed to GO! So off I went equipped with my tunes, and my keen sense of adventure, ready for an epic weekend.

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The drive itself is fantastic, and it’s pretty much a given that you will see Buffalo either on the highways, or beside them,  and if you’re lucky, a bear, or some other spectacular species of Canadian wildlife. I kept pulling over to check things out that looked of interest to me during the drive. It never fails, I always act like a traveller even back home. You can’t ever appreciate life too much. Just take it all in:) 5 hours later, and I pulled into the ‘Fred Henne’ campsite in YK, to meet up with my crew, and get my tent all pitched and ready to go. We had three campsites booked, and a group of phenomenal peeps, can’t ask for much more.

Friday night we went to a free performance in Sambe Ke Park, by this amazing group called ‘The Jerry Cans’, from all the way up in Iqaluit, Nunavut.  The music was amazing, and I love that they include some tradition throat singing into the mix, as well as country rhythms, blues, and reggae. Incredible. They definitely had everyone up dancing, and the Park was an absolute beautiful setting. The Friday night before Folk begins, is always one of the best nights to go out, as all the bands are playing at various bars, so you can bar hop and check them all out. It’s fun, but there are lines at places, that can be the only un-fun part. However well worth it!!

Hello “Folk on the Rocks”!!

Let the party begin. Ok, so it began the night before… So let the party continue! The set up is pretty awesome there are 6 different stages, including a cultural one and a children’s stage, artisan vendors, food vendors, and of course Beer Gardens!(which I became well acquainted with)… Haha, as you do, If you are wise(which we like to think we are), you will head straight to the main stage on arrival to Folk to lay your blankets in a prime location for later on in the evening.

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Strategy is always key:)And it fills up fast!! Inside the beer gardens you can get food, like hamburgers, etc.. your typical festival beer food, and, in case you didn’t guess.. Beer! or coolers..I don’t really drink either of those things, but during Folk fest, it becomes a different story.. And well, when the sun is beaming and the tunes are flowing, it all works very well together. The stage in the beer gardens always has good bands playing, so you also get to do some dancing, while you mingle with friends old and new, and just love the vibes. There was a super great line up of artists this year, and a few of my favorites were, Matt Mays, The Strumbellas, Yukon Blonde, and Harlan Pepper, The Jerry Cans(as mentioned before), but really there were many great performers at the festival. Saturday proved to be just as awesome as we had anticipated.  If you seen a puff of dust in front of the stage, that was me, dancing up a storm! Every so often people would come by giving little nick knack’s away,IMG_1168 and we scored some Bandana’s!! “what color would you like?” wow! I even get a choice. How spoilt. Haha. Hmmmm, but ok, ‘I shall take Blue.’ But really now, Bandana’s have their advantages, and will come in handy when you least expect it.IMG_1169 I also got some chap stick and bug spray, two northern Essentials!! The beers gardens are shut at 9, which then means Main stage is where it’s at. We were there till about 1130pm, then the day was done. Off we went. I really like that the city had a bus just for the Folk Fest! Very freaken handy after a day of festivities, and when you are ready to head back downtown to do some bar hopping.
Sunday morning, after a big Saturday, we all had the craving for a good hearty breakfast to top us up for another day of Sunshine, tunes, and bevy’s! Otherwise known as ‘Sunday Funday’. So we went to a well known local called, “Gold Range Bistro’. It is your typical diner style restaurant… But with its northern flare of course:) The food was good, and the company was obviously awesome! IMG_1181Between the Bailey’s/Coffee, and a plate full of fuel to start our engines, we were ready for anything! Anything entailing, live music, dancing, sun, sand, and beer gardens that is.
I have to say, I loved my Folk Crew!! They are all super awesome, each and every one of them, the weekend would not have been the same without the whole crew, because everyone added their own dynamics to it. I love when a group of awesome people come together. IMG_1178

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Being out and about in the hot sun, checking out different stages, you do tend to work up an appetite! So luckily there are all those handy food vendors there. Fries anyone?

IMG_1180This little vendor had fresh to order fries, and yup as you can see, it was a done deal.

A little later on during our ‘Sunday Funday’ adventures, I had the pleasure of running into, and having a beer with the group called Harlan Pepper. They have an awesome rock groove going on, have been friends since kindergarten, and are constantly growing in popularity.

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I have to say, not only are they great performers, but also a very nice bunch of guys. For sure enjoyed that encounter.

Photo Credit for this one goes to Jared Monkman(Bottom left), whom is a very talented northern photographer:)

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Main stage again in the night was going off! I loved how all the different groups/artists jam together at the end of the day, and love it just as much as everyone else.

It was the place to be. The place to finish another unforgettable folk fest. “Folk on the Rocks 2014!!”.

One of those hilarious moments, where you think you are posing for a photo, and a guy in the background is trying to photo bomb, and its on video!