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Cyclists with borders Due to Canada's border-hugging population distribution, it's hard to travel very far without entering US territory. Undefended borders are a good thing, after all, and what better way to celebrate than with a bike relay across international frontiers.

MOVEMENT

Cyclists with borders

Due to Canada’s border-hugging population distribution, it’s hard to travel very far without entering US territory.

Undefended borders are a good thing, after all, and what better way to celebrate than with a bike relay across international frontiers.

(The Seoul to Pyongyang bike relay, by contrast, remains on permanent hiatus).

On Saturday, hundreds of cyclists from around the world will once again traverse the 238.28 kilometres from Haines Junction, Yukon, to Haines, Alaska.

Afterwards, the city of Haines will resonate will the self-medicating revelry of sore-muscled competitors.

Saturday along the Chilkat Pass, starting at 8:30 a.m.

Summer Running

In any other city, running at midnight is a good way to get tasered.

In Mayo, the Midnight Marathon is a proud solstice tradition.

If shin-splints aren’t your thing, feel free to try the 10-kilometre- or half-marathon. You don’t even need to run.

Everybody gets a medal.

Sunday in Mayo, starting at 11:45 p.m.

Where’s the fire?

Mix baseball with ample supplies of beer and you get slo-pitch.

This weekend, Faro remounts the Effy Croft Memorial Ball Tournament.

“Dust off your glove and get your team together,” advise organizers.

Teams must be comprised of a Noah’s ark-esque balance of females to males.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Faro. Phone 994-2728 for more info.

MAZE-LIKE

Tell me Sarah, what do you think of my labyrinth?

Weaving around an empty field is insane.

Weaving around a field decorated with a maze of stones is not.

That’s why you need a good dose of Labyrinth Yukon—which is holding its Open House this Sunday.

Be sure to check out the “faerie garden” while waiting to plod the labyrinth.

The Raven Luna Chicks will be in attendance to provide some drumming.

“When 8,000 drums beat together, an intense healing of Mother Earth will commence,” says an official poster.

Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. Located at lot 1134, Shallow Bay Road, North Klondike Highway.

All proceeds go to charitable projects in India and Nepal.

Call 633-4924 for more information.

MUSIC

Bring on the minstrels

Soir de Semaine, Whitehorse’s most sprighty performers, are soon being pulled apart for an extended sabbatical.

In five swan-song performances, the four-piece band is giving Yukoners one final glimpse at their make-up-heavy, theatrical brand of folk-funk-rock-reggae.

Friday, 9 p.m. at Flipper’s Pub. Wednesday, 4 p.m. at the Dawson City gazebo, 9 p.m. at The Pit.

Performances also at the Sunstroke Music Festival.

More info at www.soirdesemaine.com

CELEBRATIONS

Get there early

Whitehorse doesn’t have a lot of big things, but apparently it has Canada’s biggest celebration of National Aboriginal Day.

Bring a lawn chair and catch three hours of live music at Shipyards Park.

Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. at Shipyards Park.

Don’t like going outside? The celebrations will also be broadcast live on APTN.

Raise a pole to the children

The Carcross Tagish First Nation’s new Early Childhood Education Centre (Ya Dak Du Hidi—Little Peoples House) will soon open its doors.

A pole raising is definitely in order.

On Sunday, the First Nation will raise two moiety poles—the first of their type to be raised in Carcross.

All attendees are encouraged to wear the costume and regalia of their own traditional cultural heritage.

Entertainment by the Tagish Nation Dancers and the Dakka Kwaan Dancers.

A feast will follow on the shores of Grayling Bay.

Sunday, 2 p.m. beside the CTFN Main Administration Building in Carcross.

Saint Jean Baptiste Day

Whether you’re Quebecois, or you just have a thing for beheaded prophets, St. Jean Baptiste Day is for you.

Roll your way down to Flipper’s Pub, where the L’association franco-yukonnaise is celebrating with JouTou.

JouTou (a soundalike of the French phrase for “play anything”), incorporates a Chinese lute player, a Uruguayan sitarist, a Quebecois guitarist and a Celtic “enchantress.”

JouTou is so multicultural you just might think that you’re gazing at federal campaign literature.

Wednesday, 9 p.m. at Flipper’s Pub.

POETRY

More poets than you can shake a quill at

Every 104 weeks, when the sun is at its highest point, Whitehorse welcomes a dearth of local, national and international poets into its brood.

This year, catch renowned Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje.

Also featured are Don McKay, Erin Moore, CD Wright, Adam Sol and local poet Michael Eden Reynolds.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Whitehorse. Complete schedule available at whitehorsepoetry.com.

Sonnets unlikely

Once the professionals have fled, it’s time again for Whitehorse’s innumerable poetic amateurs to swarm in and pick up the scraps of rhyme.

Grab your moleskine, tousle your hair and for God’s sake try to look deep.

Wednesday, 7 p.m. at Baked Cafe.

HOLIDAYS AND COMMEMORATIONS

Paterfamilial kudos

Thanks to hidden ovulation, human males are compelled to form monogamous relationships in order to ensure the passing of their seed.

Monogamy’s most obvious side benefit, of course, is that males are around to assist in the raising of their subsequent offspring.

A genetic anomaly, maybe, but over the millennia, male parenting has become one of humanity’s most valued institutions.

That’s why, after the wild success of Mother’s Day, Sonora Smart Dodd, daughter of an American Civil War veteran, decided to follow it up with a similar day for fathers.

Father’s Day soon had the backing of a consortium of New York City-based tie manufacturers and the holiday’s future was assured.

Amid our modern-day deluge of honour-holidays (Grandparent’s Day, Professional Administrative Assistant’s Day, Talk Like a Pirate Day, etc.) the original meaning of the holiday may be somewhat lost.

Nevertheless, the miracle of good fatherhood should not be understated.

Ditch the card: an awkward phone call or a returned lawnmower says so much more.

HISTORY

Medieval dance fever

On June 24, 1374, a bunch of peasants in Aachen, Germany were suddenly seized by an insatiable urge to dance.

Young and old, man and woman danced hysterically through the streets, foaming at the mouth.

When they collapsed from exhaustion, their battered bodies continued to twist and writhe until they passed out. For the next 200 years, bizarre dance fevers would continue to break out all across Europe.

Naturally, the Catholic Church assumed people were possessed by the devil.

Because the St. John’s Dance occurred 600 years before the formation of the Bee Gees, scientists remain at a loss to explain the phenomenon.

Don’t hang ‘em high

Thirty-three years ago this week, Canada’s Parliament officially eliminated the death penalty for murder

Or did it?

For decades afterward, capital punishment continued to dwell on Canadian legal books.

Even though a Canadian could not be hanged for murder, a Canadian soldier could still technically be shot for cowardice in the face of the enemy.

Fun fact: if you survived a Canadian military firing squad, your sentence was automatically commuted to life in prison.

Canada’s last state execution actually occurred more than 46 years ago, when Arthur Lucas and Robert Turpin were hanged for the killing of two police officers.

Moments before the hanging, the criminals were told that they would likely be the last people hung in the Dominion of Canada.

“Some consolation,” replied Turpin.

Contact Tristin Hopper at

tristinh@yukon-news.com

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