Dawson City returns to old-style Discovery Days, softened with an artsy edge

Discovery Days kicks off in Dawson this weekend. (Courtesy/Klondike Visitors Association)

Discovery Days kicks off in Dawson this weekend. (Courtesy/Klondike Visitors Association)

This Discovery Day weekend in Dawson City promises to be a full and busy affair. With most hotel rooms booked weeks ago, spur of the moment folks will have to hope for cancellations, camping and shares if they want to partake in the celebrations.

The annual event marking the discovery of gold in the Yukon gets started on Aug. 12 and gears up over the course of the weekend. There’s a golf tournament, a fastball tournament, a horticultural exhibition and the ever-growing Riverside Arts Festival. The famous Discovery Day parade happens at noon on Aug. 14.

Diamond Tooth Gerties will be open with gambling and full shows. Bar service is back.

The Riverside Arts festival has covered any available venue around town, 14 at last count, with art exhibits, installations, videos, performances and sounds — art in all its forms and range of expressions.

A new organization, Words Out Loud, kicks off its summer event series with word artists in the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture (KIAC) ballroom the evening of Aug. 13.

And then on Aug. 15, there’s the Commissioner’s Picnic, a modernization of the traditional and colonial-inspired Commissioner’s Tea and Ball of the last century. This is the 125th year since the discovery of gold. The picnic starts at 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the on the grounds of the Commissioner’s Residence and Fort Herchmer, and is a family affair. Now period dress is optional; it used to be a must.

Full schedules are available on the Klondike Visitors’ Association website and the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture website.

Contact Lawrie Crawford at lawrie.crawford@yukon-news.com

Dawson City