With the sun struggling to break through the clouds to convince Arctic residents that spring is truly on its way, the 55th annual Muskrat Jamboree kicked off festival season in the Beaufort Delta.
From March 30 to April 2, residents from across the territory descended on Inuvik to celebrate the close of winter. Despite the frigid temperatures and blustery weather, participants crowded down to the frozen Mackenzie River for delicious food, games, snowmobile races, dog mushing races and reconnecting with neighbours.
The festival-goers celebrated with traditional games and activities and had prizes for winners of jigging contests, plank walk races, log sawing, nail driving, bingo, trapper skills competitions, traditional dress parades, honey bag hockey, harpoon throw, egg toss, tug of war, snowshoe races and talent shows.
Unfortunately, the Trapper Skills competition lacked the muskrat skinning portion of the event because organizers could not find any muskrats. Too much snowfall had blocked the pop-ups, where muskrats break through the ice.