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Fort Simpson’s Beavertail Jamboree makes a comeback


Add Fort Simpson’s Beavertail Jamboree to the list of events making a comeback in 2022.

The festival was cancelled last year during the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, the festival will take place in Fort Simpson from March 6 to 13.

Andre Bolduc, a member of the Beavertail Jamboree planning committee, said though the festival isn’t coming back in its full form, a number of events will take place..

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A family snow sculpture contest will be held alongside a hockey game, basketball tournament, radio bingo, a chili cook-off, and fireworks on Sunday, March 6.

“Beavertail’s a very exciting week and everyone is always looking forward to it,” Bolduc said. “It’s a festival that really brings people together.

“It’s a nice way to celebrate the arrival of spring and seeing family and friends, sometimes from out of town or far away.”

A detailed schedule is on the group’s Facebook page, which will carry updates on events.

Gathering limits for events were lifted on March 1. Covid-19 precautions like sanitizing, social distancing, and mask-wearing indoors will remain in effect at the jamboree.

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Events not scheduled this month, such as the youth and adult talent show and dance, may instead be held this summer.

At a meeting on February 21, Fort Simpson’s village council said a half-day civic holiday will be declared for Friday, March 11 so families can enjoy events that afternoon. A pancake breakfast will happen on March 12 with councillors and the mayor serving residents.

Bolduc said residents are happy to have the festival back.

“We didn’t host it last year because we came to the conclusion that Beavertail is a gathering where it draws lots of people – it’s about events, bringing people together and having large numbers – so having capacities at a low number of 25 people wouldn’t make the festival work,” he said.

“We’re all looking forward to it. It’s not a full Beavertail but I think everyone’s pretty optimistic.”

The Wood Buffalo Frolics carnival in Fort Smith is also running this year with dates and events to be confirmed. The Kátł’odeeche First Nation’s K’amba Carnival ran in a limited capacity last year and runs again this weekend.

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