Yellowknife’s Long John Jamboree became the second major March event in the city to bow to coronavirus disruption on Friday evening.
Jamboree organizers said they had made “the difficult decision to suspend” the event, just hours after neighbouring Snowking’s Winter Festival had pulled the plug on evening events at the chief public health officer’s recommendation.
“Don’t throw your long johns away – next year is our 10th anniversary and we plan to ramp things up,” organizers pleaded with residents in a Facebook post.
The Jamboree, ordinarily a three-day festival on the ice of Yellowknife Bay at the end of March, was forced to relocate to Yellowknife’s fieldhouse parking lot in 2019 amid unseasonably warm temperatures.
This year’s festival had proved challenging for organizers, who only in January decided to press ahead and hold an event.
“This decision did not come lightly,” the Jamboree’s board said of calling off the festival, “however it was made due to circumstances beyond our control with the Covid-19 issue.”
In Hay River, Polar Pond Hockey was going ahead as of Friday night – but with no traditional Friday evening celebration and some changes to the schedule.
The hockey weekend, staging a comeback after a hiatus of several years, was one of few remaining largely untouched in the territory.
Super Soccer, the NWT’s largest annual soccer gathering, was cancelled on Friday as national governing body Canada Soccer ordered a halt to all sanctioned events.