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Appreciate these swans If the melting snow weren't enough to signify the coming of spring, hordes of large, angry birds are coming to drive the point home.

Appreciate these swans

If the melting snow weren’t enough to signify the coming of spring, hordes of large, angry birds are coming to drive the point home.

For generations, Yukoners have welcomed the hundreds of swans which, every April, swoop into the open water at M’Clintock Bay in Marsh Lake to snag a few bites to eat before heading to their even more northerly nesting grounds.

Working out of the bayside Swan Haven Interpretation Centre, sponsor Yukon Energy is once again orchestrating a kingly appreciation.

Expect birding tours, bird identification and photography workshops, art exhibits, storytelling and guest speakers from different parts of the swans’ flyway.

Swans become remarkably ornery after long migratory flights, and M’Clintock Bay offers a unique opportunity to watch them mud-brawling for scraps of food. Canada geese, northern pintails and wigeons will tag along to join them.

The Celebration of Swans runs from April 18 to 26th. Visit the Swan Haven Interpretation Centre on the shores of M’Clintock Bay in Marsh Lake.

If you can’t make it to the swan grounds, simply check out the Yukon Energy Swan Cam at

GO Fish

Here, fishers, fishers, fishers

Swans may be nice to look at, but it’s not like you can eat them. That’s where fish come in.

Get a fishing licence, win some prizes and explore the wonderful promises of the coming fish season at the Yukon Fish and Game Association Family Fishing Day at Lake Laberge.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lake Laberge on Saturday.

DANCE for a cause

Dancing together for the children

Ten years of civil war decimated the population of Nepal, leaving poor parents with no option than to drop their children at understaffed, underfunded orphanages.

Yukoners Rosemarie and Liesel Briggs, while touring Nepal in 2006, were frequently asked to bring books to schools and to help with the children.

On Saturday, the pair is bringing out their latest fundraiser: a dance-a-thon.

Enter alone or in a team of five. Then, once the music starts at six, start shaking. Five hours later, at 11 p.m., ribbons and prizes will be given to winners.

All proceeds will go towards providing food, shelter and books to both the Linh Son Children’s Home in Nepal, and an Indian-Nepalese book distribution program.

(See coverage of the Dance-a-Thon on page 62.)

Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight at the Mt. McIntyre Recreation Centre.


You must be mad, Alice, or you wouldn’t have come here

The adolescent thespians at Wood Street School have struck again. Albeit, with a much stronger dose of madness.

Random Acts of MADness, MAD’s (music, art, drama) twice-annual coffee house, is hitting the stage once again, assailing audiences with a mix of theatrical machinations.

Song and dance, obviously, but also a rich offering of poetry, prose, commedia and short films.

Just like a Dead concert, organizers promise that “each night is a different show.”

Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday. 8 p.m. at the Wood St. Centre.

Power sports

No skis, no problem

The ski season has finally come to an end—but that doesn’t mean you still can’t get on a snowmobile and see how fast you can go up a hill.

On Sunday, Mount Sima will host one of its last winter events; the Snowmobile Up Hill Challenge. The self-evidently named event will invite hordes of snowmobilers to mount their motorized steeds and loudly conquer the oppressive force of gravity.

Sunday at Mount Sima.

DEW Lines

Dawson dome

Visitors to the Dawson City Music Festival probably noticed the bizarre geodesic dome set up on the ice of the frozen Yukon River, artist Charles Stankievech’s tribute to the now-defunct Distant Early Warning Line.

For decades, frozen bases across the North stood ready to intercept incoming Russian missiles and provide the spark for complete nuclear annihilation—a heavy role for such a humble structure.

“It could be argued the geodesic dome is one of the first known architectures to introduce the theatre of communication and networked warfare,” wrote Stankievech.

Stankievich’s project doesn’t listen for Armageddon, rather it is tuned to the rushing waters on the river just beneath it.

In Dawson, tune radios to 100.1. Everywhere else, log onto


Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies

On April 19, 1943, Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman noticed one of the chemicals in his lab, when absorbed through his fingertips, caused him to become extremely dizzy.

So dizzy, in fact, that he had to leave work.

Dizzy run-ins would cause the normal chemist to don some gloves, or strap on a mask, but not the intrepid Hoffman.

Once he had recovered, the chemist immediately returned to the lab on April 19 and swallowed a much larger dose of the mysterious chemical. The chemist was immediately plunged into a state of delirium, and needed to be escorted home on his bicycle by a lab assistant. For several hours, Hoffman lay crippled with fear that his body was possessed by a demon, that his next-door neighbour was a witch and that his furniture was plotting against him.

In the years to come, Hoffman would refer to the bizarre experience as Bicycle Day. Enthusiasts the world over now celebrate it as history’s first-ever ingestion of LSD.

So that’s what all

that graffiti means

In 1971, at exactly 4:20 p.m.—right after the dismissal of after-school detention—a group of high school students in San Rafael, California, would meet at the base of a Louis Pasteur statue to smoke marijuana.

The student’s iconic 4:20 meeting time would soon make the rounds of the cannabis subculture. Within only a decade, the humble origins of the term “420” were forgotten, but the number itself had become an iconic symbol of all things dope, weed, ganja, bud and spliff.

That’s why, every year on the 20th day of the 4th month, pot smokers the world over gather to consume and celebrate the planet’s hallucinogen of choice.

Engineering Projects

Don’t burn your bridges, smash them

Thou shalt take naught but stir sticks, glue and dental floss, thou shalt construct a sturdy bridge to bridge a span of no more than two cubits.

Egged on by the Association of Professional Engineers of Yukon, high schools from across the Yukon have once again come out to flex their model bridge-building muscle.

Starting at 1 p.m., these beautiful pieces of unorthodox adolescent handiwork will be judged in a spree of stick-splintering destruction. Be they suspension, arch or truss, only the blind justice of demolition will determine a victor.

Saturday at Porter Creek Secondary School. Bridge viewing from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.. Bridge destruction starts at 1 p.m.

Contact Tristin Hopper at

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