There's something special about Dawson City. We know how to make sure everybody has a good time. When we put on a festival or event (and we have lots of them) the whole place gets involved – residents and visitors alike. Dawson City might be a small town but our events are huge. Why not come and see for yourself?
Summer Events (May-September)
In chronological order
Many merchants and businesses from out of town come to share their wares with Dawson City at this mining trade show. It's is a great chance to see some of the current and future technology being employed in the north.
Dawson City is the base camp for your trip to Tombstone Territorial Park. Located an hour and a half drive away, you can experience its majesty by car on the Dempster Highway or get up close and personal with with its flora and fauna on day or multi-day trips.
The Commissioner's Tea and Klondike Ball
Second Saturday of June
Held each year in recognition of our territory officially joining the dominion of Canada, this event draws Yukoners and visitors from far and wide.
Dress is formal and many take the opportunity to dress in the styles of 1898. A tea is held during the day at the Commissioner's Residence. A ball takes place at night with great food, potable spirits and dancing. For more information on this event or for ticket pricing and availability, please call 867-993-5575 or email here. For more information on the Commissioner and the role this office plays in the Yukon, please click here.
Dust to Dawson Motorcycle Run (NOT A RALLY!)
A trip of a lifetime, this rally begins wherever you are and culminates in Dawson City at the Downtown Hotel. Mostly riders from Alaska, coming over the Top of the World Highway , but from as far away as California and points east, arrive to enjoy ruckus celebrations at the Sourdough Saloon, regaling in stories of the ride, previous rides and rides yet to come. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the Great White North forum at www.advrider.com
Each solstice is recognized nationally as Aboriginal Day. The Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre offers an incredible array of activities including live music, jigging contest, face painting for the kids and refreshments. This is a great opportunity to share in these cultural festivities.
For information, please contact Glenda Bolt Glenda.Bolt@gov.trondek.com
Midnight Sun Golf Tournament
Held as close to the longest day of the year that the calendar will allow, this event tee’s off at midnight and ends with a celebratory breakfast of beer and eggs while scores are tallied and awards handed out. A true northern experience! For more information please contact Top of the World Golf course at 867 993-5888 (seasonal).
Check for registration details for the 2013 race! The Yukon River Quest is the longest annual canoe and kayak race in the world. It follows the Yukon River through some of the most beautiful terrain the Yukon Territory has to offer. From the capital, Whitehorse, the race covers almost 700 river miles and culminates in Dawson City. The route is long and remote, with weather, winds and exhaustion playing into the overall strategy of the race. This chase is truly not for the meek or faint of heart. Once in Dawson, there are great opportunities to greet the racers at the end of their journey or you could always inquire about volunteer positions. For more information about this great Yukon adventure and complete results, visit www.yukonriverquest.com.
Photo: Harry Kern
Celebrate the fauna at Tombstone Territorial Park with interpretive walks, artist workshops, guest speakers and more.
Canada Day Celebrations
Fun for the whole family, Canada day activities include a parade, family picic- barbeque, and more. If you are looking for some friendly competition, first-time goldpanners can try their luck at the annual Yukon Gold Panning Championships.
Yukon Gold Panning Championships
This annual competition celebrates our Yukon heritage as well as the industry that is still alive and well out on the historical creeks of the Klondike. Who knew that you could pan gold fast! Competitors from the Yukon and around the world compete in a number of events to see who can extract a predetermined amount of gold flake from a bucket of dirt. The final event crowns the fastest Yukoner and sends the winner to the World Goldpanning Championships, held in South Africa for 2012. Dawson City hosted the 2007 Worlds and you can see some of the final championship competition by clicking here. For more info on this event, contact email@example.com
Dubbed the perfect tiny festival several years ago, this 3 day event is something that anyone interested in music & culture should not miss. Performers attending the festival over the years have been eclectic and on the fringes of fame. Artists such as the Painting Daisies, the Mighty Popo, Veda Hille, and the Constantines have played alongside the likes of Jane Sibbery, Bruce Cockburn, the Rheostatics and the Barenaked Ladies. For info on how to participate and/or attend, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or log onto www.dcmf.com
Photo: Aaron Worniak
International Dome Race
Run on the third week of July, and usually coinciding with Musicfest, this race sends several dozen participants up the Midnight Dome, climbing to an elevation of almost 3000ft over a distance of 7 km. A true test of endurance and mental toughness. For more info, call 867 993-2350.
Celebrate lichen and fungi at Tombstone Territorial Park with interpretive walks, artist workshops, guest speakers and more.
Discovery Day Celebrations
In August of 1896 gold was discovered on Bonanza Creek. This discovery sparked the Klondike Gold Rush and the creation of the Yukon Territory. Come and enjoy our territorial holiday with cake, historical street theatre, and a chance to photograph our Mounties in their famous red serge. 5 days of special event activities await you including :
Authors on Eighth Writing Contest and Walking Tour
Authors on Eighth pays tribute to world famous writers, Robert Service, Jack London, and Pierre Berton (he wrote the book on the Klondike Gold Rush) who, in their creative works, have immortalized the Klondike Gold Rush and the North. If you are a fellow bard, enter the Authors on Eighth Writing Contest. Winners are announced at the Authors on Eighth Walking Tour. On the tour, visit the authors` one-time homes and enjoy stories of their life and recitations. For more information, email us at email@example.com or call 867-993-5575.
In addition to history and culture, Dawson has a vibrant and active arts community. At the YRAF , the waterfront comes alive with interactive artist tents and musicians. Join in the art auction, walk, or one of the workshops. There are even evening film screenings in a wall tent! For more information, please visit this site.
Discovery Day Run
Come and discover what you are made of at this annual 10km event. Have fun along side of a local Yukoner as our extrodinary scenery accompanies you along the way.
Discovery Days Golf Tournament
Golf on top of the World! Enjoy the spectacular view. You may even catch a glimpse of a moose or have to recover your ball from a thieving fox! 9 holes of relaxation as the midnight sun lights the way. For more information about this tournament, please contact the course at 993-5888 (seasonal).
Klondike Valley Mud Bog
Gentlemen (and ladies) start your engines! Meet under the Moosehide slide for a supercharged afternoon of monster trucks and other interesting vehicles as they attempt to make it from one end of a mud pit to the other. Be sure to pack your earplugs! This fun event is put on by volunteers and is a blast to watch, but participating is even better! For information, contact Louise Blanchard at 867-993-5627.
Celebrate geology at Tombstone Territorial Park with interpretive walks, artist workshops, guest speakers and more.
Great Klondike International Outhouse Race
Get ready for fast paced hilarity! It’s a race, it’s a scavenger hunt, it involves decorated outhouses on wheels, it’s completely absurd! Visitors are encouraged to participate in this one of a kind event. And yes, we supply the outhouses. Here is the start of the 2008 Klondike International Outhouse Race, this video should say it all...
White Ram Poker Tournament
Ante up with world-class competitors to take on some of the best players in the North at the only legal poker tournament this side of Edmonton, Alberta. Held in Canada’s oldest casino Diamond Tooth Gertie's on the weekend after Labour Day, the tournament offers a limit and no limit event. In the evenings enjoy live entertainment and games like Texas Hold’em along with all the casino regulars like Roulette, Blackjack and Slots. For information on rules, times, buy-ins and anything else, contact the Klondike Visitors Association at 867-993-5575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing night is a local favorite that packs the casino, join us September 21th 2013. A special show is produced by those saucy Gertie’s Gals. Come early to get a seat! Contact KVA at 867-993-5575
Winter Events (October-April)
In Chronological Order
For some, winter is a slower time of year. But in Dawson, where the mercury can dip below minus 40c, we have to do something to keep busy!
Dawson Day Care Christmas Bazaar
Don’t wait until Christmas Eve to shop! Don’t miss this opportunity to shop for Christmas and to support local organisations. The local school comes alive with arts, crafts, and imports. Come and see what new products and services are being offered. Don’t forget to take home some delicious baked goods, canning and confectionaries. Contact Vera Homes, 867-993-5167
Known as the toughest dog sled race in the world, the international 1000-mile Yukon Quest takes place every February. The start of the race alternates every year between Whitehorse, Yukon and Fairbanks, Alaska. Whichever way the race goes, Dawson is the halfway point and the mandatory 36-hour layover point in this gruelling adventure. The city brims with visitors, participants and media from all over the world as well as more than a thousand of the smartest, sturdiest sled dogs you'll ever find.
It's a snowmobile extravangza. Three fun-packed long weekends at the end of February and the start of March when 150 snowmobilers at a time head for Dawson City from Alaska via the Top of the World Highway.
Trek Over the Top activities include themed gaming nights, poker runs, curling, pub crawls and a whole lot more.
Thaw di Gras
The Thaw di Gras is Dawson City’s very own spring carnival. Held in mid-March, locals shake off the dark days of winter and come out to compete in events such as a chainsaw toss and a tug of war, a one-dog pull and even a tea boiling contest. Join in and help us welcome in the spring.
When the Yukon River flooded in 1979 and the movie theatre closed down there wasn't anywhere in Dawson City for folks to watch films together. It's a very different story today. Every Easter weekend since 2000, the Dawson City International Short Film Festival has opened its arms to film lovers and filmmakers, showing short films from all around the world at the Odd Fellows Hall.