Province/Territory: Yukon Territory

A Frosty Northern Mardi Gras

  • 03 days of wacky winter fun
  • 16 hours of nighttime daily to see Northern Lights
  • 09 cancan dancers

Don a feather boa or a bowler hat and join northerners in Whitehorse as they stampede outside every February during the zany Sourdough Rendezvous carnival to shrug off the cabin fever of a long winter. For almost half a century Yukoners have stomped on the snow to the beat of fiddles and taken part in old-time competitions like axe throwing and chainsaw chucking. Cheer on Huskies as they face-off in a wacky howling competition and laugh at the wife-carrying competitors. Taste sourdough pancakes with warm maple syrup. Walk into the town bank and find yourself in the middle of a gold-rush “melodrama” complete with a damsel in distress. Stroll downtown shops that look like Klondike saloons and brothels. Dine on fresh, northern cuisine like northern pike and caribou, listen to local musicians such as the Snowshoe Shufflers and spin the wheel at a honky-tonk casino. Then head to bed under a sky ribboned with red, green and yellow Northern Lights, shimmying like the “High Kicks” cancan dancers’ crinolines.

Why you should visit
  • Eat moose chili and bannock bread.
  • Snowshoe race through the forest.
  • See vintage and unique planes at the Yukon Sourdough Air Display.
  • Taste maple taffy freshly pulled in a sugar shack.
  • Kick up your heels at the lively Fiddle Show.
  • Crazy fun like beard-growing and hairy leg competitions.
  • Cheer on contestants in dogsled races or learn to mush yourself.
  • Whistle at cancan dancers.

Weather

Visitor information
  • Rates and dates
  • Some events might sell out early, so it’s wise to reserve in advance.
When to go
  • Sourdough Rendezvous celebrates winter annually during a four-day long weekend starting on a Thursday evening in late February when winter days are becoming longer, brighter and warmer.
Need to know
  • Though there are many hotels in Whitehorse, the event attracts out-of-towners, so book early to ensure accommodations.
  • The town is compact and easy to stroll and venues are close to one another. There is also a bus transit system.
  • Bring warm weather clothing including a parka, gloves, hat and comfortable warm boots.
Getting Here
  • Whitehorse is located in the northern territory of Yukon in Canada’s Western Arctic. There are regular flights from southern Canada, the Northwest Territories and Alaska to Whitehorse Airport (YXY).
  • By road, arrive via the Alaska Highway or Stewart-Cassiar Highway from British Columbia.
  • View current Yukon highway information.