It’s officially the holiday season here in the NWT, and with temperatures plummeting and snowstorms swirling, communities in the Beaufort Delta are celebrating Christmas in style with a number of events to spread the cheer.
With so much going on in the high Arctic this holiday season, Cabin Radio has compiled a list of some of the events residents can look forward to in the coming wintery weeks.
The Town of Inuvik is set to host a Covid-friendly drive-thru holiday parade – in similar style to Yellowknife’s – on December 20 from 1-3pm in the afternoon.
The town will even be providing taxis for those who don’t have their own vehicles; simply call the front desk at the Midnight Sun Complex at (867) 777-8640 to book a cab and a time. Special arrangements are available for Elders.
To keep the event socially distanced and Covid-friendly, staff have issued a couple of ground rules for those attending: residents must stay in their vehicles to see the floats and should only have members of their own household in the car; and drivers are asked not to stop while on the parade route to ensure traffic flows smoothly.
On December 19, Inuvik will be hosting a “Children’s Present Pick-Up” from 3-5pm at the Fitness Centre parking lot in lieu of its annual Children’s Christmas Party.
Families are able to register for a time to come and pick-up their presents, alongside walk-in appointments for those without access to a car. Santa Claus himself will also be making an appearance to spread the holiday cheer.
And last but not least, one last Arctic Market will be held in the Community Hall of the Midnight Sun Complex on December 19 from 11am to 2pm, where arts, crafts, holiday gifts, and food will be available for purchase.
Tuktoyaktuk has already had a host of holiday events take place on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, from a Christmas craft fair to Christmas games – but the festivities are far from over.
The hamlet’s annual “12 Days of Christmas” is in full swing, with snow-globe making, painting, and ornament making events filling the calendar and getting residents to tap into their crafty side.
As is now the trend amidst a global pandemic, virtual events have risen to the occasion, with the Tuktoyaktuk Online Events Facebook page acting as a digital hub for a number of holiday contests: jigging, snow sculptures, and household decorations, to name a few, and each with cash prizes for the winners.
On December 21, the hamlet’s recreation department will be hosting outdoor Christmas games, such as obstacle courses and foot races, complete with prizes and hot chocolate. It follows a first attempt to host the event on December 12 that was kyboshed by a -40-degree windchill, according to assistant senior administrative officer Katrina Cockney.
The Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation will be delivering Christmas hampers to every household in the community, which will each include turkey, ham, mandarin oranges, and chocolates.
Ulukhaktok is no exception to the Christmas spirit sweeping the Beaufort Delta.
Crafts are the name of the game, with do-it-youself Christmas ornament, ugly holiday sweater, and slime making workshops this week at the Arctic Fox Youth Centre. There will be a Christmas beading workshop on December 22.
Photographer Billy Goose will be at the Centre on December 21 to take family portraits. Those interested in booking a session can call Joyce Banksland at (867) 396-3704.
The Youth Centre will be closed December 23, 24, and 25 for Christmas, as well as December 31 and January 1 for the New Year.
Starting Monday, the RCMP unit in Ulukhaktok is handing out cookie plates to community members. Anyone can stop by and grab one, but masks must be worn.
Much like Tuktoyaktuk, Sachs Harbour has gone the online route for many of its Christmas celebrations this year.
An outdoor decorating contest is currently underway, having opened on December 11 and running until December 21. All photos or videos should be posted to the Sachs Harbour Community Corporation’s Facebook page along with the entrant’s name. There are cash prizes for those who place in the top three.
There is also an online Christmas caroling contest open until the 21st, operating in much the same fashion as the decorating contest. There is a limit of one entry per person.
Ornament-making, musical talent, and festive activities are abundant along the Mackenzie River.
A homemade ornament-making contest is underway. Participants have until December 15 to bring their entries to the band office for judging.
Another online jigging contest is being hosted in the community. Videos need to be filmed and posted to the Tsiigehtchic Events page on Facebook.
Both contests are offering cash prizes for the top those who place in the top three in either the adult or youth categories.
On December 18, a game of bingo will take place over the radio, where a generator and a chainsaw are up for grabs as prizes.
Ugly Christmas sweaters, snow-globes, and holiday slime are just a couple of the crafting events the community has held throughout the past week.
A snow globe workshop for youth aged 14 and under is set to take place at the Paulatuk Youth Centre on December 16, with a Christmas stocking workshop happening the next day.