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Put down that tuxedo, this celebration requires jeans This columnist is celebrating Discovery Day by eating pepperoni and watching an all-day Fawlty Towers marathon.

WATSON LAKE

Put down that tuxedo, this celebration requires jeans

This columnist is celebrating Discovery Day by eating pepperoni and watching an all-day Fawlty Towers marathon.

But Watson Lake is celebrating the day with a parade and ball tournament.

Saturday to Monday at Watson Lake’s Wye Lake Park. Phone (867) 536-8020 for more info.

If you show me yours …

With bags of fertilizer, constant irrigation, and lots and lots of spare time, dozens of different flowers and vegetables can be coaxed out of Watson Lake soil.

With another gardening season at an end, it’s high time for Lakers to boast about their summertime horticultural conquests.

Take the Watson Lake Community Garden Tour, and feel your face redden with shame as you gaze upon gardens far superior to your sorry windowbox of now-dead flowers.

Tuesday from 1 to 5 p.m. Meet at Watson Lake’s Wye Lake Park.

Filth

Hard to get insurance

Before the soil reverts back to cold, frozen concrete, why not turn it into mud and drive motorized vehicles through it really fast?

The Klondike Valley Mud Bogs are taking place in Dawson City on Sunday.

Call Louise Blanchard at 993-5627 for more information.

HARVEST-THEMED CELEBRATION

King Harvest (Has Surely Come)

In the old days, European agrarian societies featured harvest festivals as the centrepoint of their year.

In only a few weeks, a year’s worth of sustenance would be pulled from the earth: another miracle yielded from the benevolent soils.

Naturally, the festival started to achieve an almost supernatural quality.

In an age where we can buy strawberries in January – the spectacle of the harvest festival has largely faded.

On Thursday, the Yukon Educational Theatre brings back the majesty, wonder and mythology with its annual Celebration of the Harvest.

Witness the Lord of Darkness triumph over the King of the Harvest. Attempt to win the heart of the Goddess of the Harvest.

Gypsy music will play. And succulent fresh vegetables will be in good supply.

Thursday from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at Shipyards Park.

THEATRE

Women disguised as men

Outdoor theatre combines the joys of live performance with the smell of mosquito repellent.

Dreamnorth Theatre, fulfilling its mandate to bring Shakespeare to the Canadian North, has returned to Whitehorse once again to stage William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

(Check out the Yukon News preview on page 38).

August 14, 15, 18 and 22 at 7 p.m. at Shipyards Park.

Matinee showings on August 15, 22 and 23 at 1:30 p.m.

MUSIC

Spoonful of Rae

When Rae Spoon was in his early 20s, he toured across the Western world as the world’s only transgendered country singer.

“When the obvious dangers and contradictions of this role caught up to him, he hid in a small town in Eastern Germany for a winter,” states his MySpace profile.

German winters are great for writing albums, however, and now Spoon is touring his new album superioryouareinferior.

A veteran of Frostbite, DCMF and the Canada Winter Games, Spoon will bring new material to old audiences.

Wednesday, 8 p.m. at Marsh Lake’s Jackelope.

Thursday, 8 p.m. at Whitehorse’s Baked Cafe.

ART

Like book burning, but slower

Whitehorse-based artist Owen Williams has once again started an art project that will likely be understood by few who don’t happen to be Owen Williams.

At Dawson’s Riverside Arts Festival, catch Owen as he looks through old books looking for rivers of space in the text.

If a river is found, it will be traced with a pencil.

Examined books will be placed on Owen’s right side. Unexamined books on his left.

Pop 14 quaaludes and a bottle of cough syrup, and maybe you too, will get the message.

HOLIDAYS

Starter gun

Thanks to liberal labour policies, August civic holidays are common practice across most of Canada.

BC has B.C. day.

Alberta has the vague Heritage Day.

Even Ontario has the Orwellian-sounding August Civic Public Holiday.

The Yukon is one of Canada’s only regions whose holiday actually celebrates a real event.

It was 113 years ago this Monday that George Carmack and Skookum Jim Mason stumbled upon a deposit of gold at Bonanza Creek.

The 19th-century press soon got hold of the story, and splashed it in newspaper headlines around the world.

Thousands of out-of-work young men were soon bound for the Canadian North.

Most would endure the most difficult journey of their lives, only to meet with crushing disappointment in the already-claimed gold fields.

Nevertheless, the mythology of the Klondike Gold Rush surpassed its sometimes unsavoury realities – living on to this day as a proud Canadian institution.

HISTORY

Soma-ed harmony

Forty years ago this Saturday, a dairy farm in rural New York became the site of one of the greatest events in popular music history.

Promoters dubbed it the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

Soon, it would be known simply as “Woodstock.”

Jethro Tull was invited, but flutist Ian Anderson reportedly stated that he didn’t want to spend his weekend in a field of unwashed hippies.

Bob Dylan, despite living quite near to the Woodstock site, also declined.

Apparently, he became increasingly annoyed at the amount of hippies piling up outside his door.

The Who, near-broke, did perform. Later, they would call it the worst concert they had ever played.

Despite its detractors, ultimately, the festival proved to a splintered 1969 world that when you gather 500,000 like-minded people in a field, pump them full of LSD and serenade them with constant rock music, peace will prevail.

Forever washboard

Thirty years ago this Tuesday, Canadian authorities officially opened a 734-kilometre two-lane gravel highway stretching from Dawson City to Inuvik.

Built to assert Canadian sovereignty over an oil-rich area, the highway was Canada’s first terrestrial link to the Arctic Ocean.

Notoriously poorly maintained since reverting to territorial control, the Dempster remains a favoured destination for tourists eager to do permanent damage to their rental RVs.

Contact Tristin Hopper at tristinh@yukon-news.com

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