Winter disrupts spring festival’s schedule

The Faro Crane and Sheep Viewing Festival is supposed to celebrate spring. But this year's lengthy winter means organizers are changing the schedule for the event's 10th year. The festival will be held on May 3 to 5.

The Faro Crane and Sheep Viewing Festival is supposed to celebrate spring. But this year’s lengthy winter means organizers are changing the schedule for the event’s 10th year.

The festival will be held on May 3 to 5. Usually, it’s held on Mother’s Day weekend. But last year, Mother’s Day happened later in the month. By then, many of the cranes had flown away, and it was too windy to see others, said Erica Ward, who has been planning the event.

“We decided to move the festival forward this year, and nature, of course, said, ‘Hey, we’re going to have the winter that never, ever ends,’” said Ward.

Unless temperatures rise significantly and stay that way, the walk to Van Gorder Falls will be cancelled, Ward said Wednesday afternoon. Usually, participants talk about plants they see along the walk. But these are still covered in snow, said Ward.

Similarly, people won’t be able to go to the mineral lick to view sheep. The shuttles aren’t able to drive down the windy, narrow road right now, she said.

Instead, organizers are planning to host different talks closer to town, she said. This year will feature a talk about bear safety. And George Happ from Alaska will present about a crane couple he has observed for years. His keynote speech will come after Saturday night’s wild game barbecue.

There will be updated information at the visitor’s centre, said Ward. People can also visit www.faroyukon.ca/about-faro/events.cfm for more information.

People planning to attend should make sure they pack rubber boots, said Ward.

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