Learn all about the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous through the ages. We've got detail about the weather, what activities took place, interesting rules and other fun stuff
1945 to 1961
Think back to 1945… where were you? Most people reading this may not have even been alive. Now just think… that’s when this festival got its start. Yukon Carnival Week as it was known in 1945 was started by the All Union Committee backed by the entire International Trade Union Movement of North and South America. It was billed as “an elaborate program of winter sports in which professionals and amateur sports enthusiasts of the US, Alaska & Canada will participate”. It was planned as a full week of daily sports activities and nightly entertainment. Now see if you recognize any of the events that took place that year: Dog Team Derby, Ski & Snowshoe Races, Amateur Fancy Skaters, the International Hockey Game and the Snowshoe Ski Ball Game. Doris Lesanke was proclaimed the winner of the Queen of the Carnival in 1945 with other notable facts being that visitors were drawn from Alaska, British Columbia, Ontario, Idaho, Quebec, Alberta, and Texas!
In 1946, following on the success of the previous year’s festivities, the carnival is held again with the city beginning to decorate the streets and encouraging local merchants to decorate their businesses in the style of 1898 to “give visitors a hearty welcome and assure them a rollicking good time”. This is the first year of the parade that was well attended with a large number of participating floats. New events including a curling bonspiel and amateur night. Frances Van Berkel was named Queen of the Carnival.
In 1947 the Whitehorse Winter Carnival saw the introduction of the beard contest for “Days of ‘98”. The Rules were as follows (excerpt from The Whitehorse Star Jan 10, 1947):
- Beards must appear below the mouth from January 1 to February 23, 1947.
- Age limit: All men under 50 years of age must grow a beard, but we except (sic) all contestants over this age limit and welcome them into the contest.
- All personnel in uniform, such as the Canadian Army, the R.C.A.F, R.C.M.P., Customs, are exempt due to regulations beyond our control.
- All ministers are exempt.
- All individuals directly handling food products, such as cooks, waiters, butchers, etc., are exempt.
- Any others desiring exemption must present their case to the Committee of the Whitehorse Winter Carnival for acceptance.
- A Kangaroo Court will be held commencing February 1st around town and any man found not advertising the Carnival in this manner will be tried for “non-support” and fined in any way deemed fit by the Committee. The Kangaroo Court would late be known as the Keystone Kops.
“The Carnival is operated for the enjoyment of every citizen in Whitehorse and it is the desire of the committee in charge to make this contest a lot of fun for everyone. In this regard we ask that, in the case of the Kangaroo Court, if any one is called up before it, to bear in mind that it is being operated in this atmosphere and that should he have to face this Court he will take the fine as a joke and aid the Committee in their efforts.”
1947 saw Mary Gunn named as Queen of the Carnival and the introduction of the games of chance and cards as well as skits and dancing.
In 1948 the Kiwanis took over the organization of the Winter Carnival from the All Union Committee. That year we saw Frances Straughan named as the Carnival Queen and a Costume Ball added to the slate. It should also be noted that this is the year that it is noted that the Queen of the Carnival is being crowned in an Ice Palace. Also of note are the number of prizes on the Queen Raffle ticket including a new Frigidaire!
Something happened in 1949 as no carvival was held due to Insurance costs. Also of note that year was the fact that Rolf Hougen was named to the organizing committee
In 1950, the carnival returned. With the return of the old favorites that were featured in the ‘40’s. Also added to the slate was the Wind Up Jamboree.
Then from 1951 – 1961, there was no festival in Whitehorse.
1962 to 1969
Something happened for 1962 though! The Carnival came back and was named the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival. The Chairperson was Flight Sergeant H.Kane. Below is the formal description of the festival:
“It is a gathering of Northern people to let off steam generated during the long, dark days of winter. It is a preamble to the busy days of spring and summer. It is a time for remembering this territory’s history and the strength of its pioneer people. It is a salute to the past and a bright eye on the future. The Sourdough Rendezvous is a gathering of the community’s talent and skill. An assembly of the area’s high spirits.”
In 1962, the Ice Palace was built by the Drama Club with Alice Martin being crowned Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. Also of note, Fred Stretch of Carmacks entered the Dog races with a community dog team made up of various dogs from around the community as no one in the community maintained a working team in Carmacks. One of the dogs was owned by an RCMP member; on the return leg of the race when the dog saw someone on the riverbank dressed in an RCMP parka, it led the team over thinking it was it’s owner with their lunch. An untimely lunch break if there ever was one! Also, the Hangin’ Judge of the Kangaroo Court Bud Fisher first appears to start a tradition and the Midnight Sun Pipe Band appears at events around the festival.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -37.5c on February 16, HIGH -12.8c on February 16
In 1963 Rolf Hougen was named chairperson of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival, and Gwen Carswell was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. New to the festival that year was an Ice Fishing Contest, Ice Sculpture Contest, Pot Boiling Contest, and Ice Car Speed Races! This was also the year of the International Cross Country Ski Meet in Whitehorse, featuring the 1963 Canadian Champion Martha Benjamin of Old Crow. Also, 1963 saw the formation of the Dog Mushers Association.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -13.9c on February 24, HIGH -5.6c on February 23 & 24
In 1964, Rolf Hougen continued as chairperson of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society. The society and name were officially registered and this would be the date that is officially recognized by the society for future anniversaries. This was also the last festival for many members of the Canadian Army stationed in Yukon as the turnover of maintenance of the Alaska Highway was given to another government department. The festival drew about 1,500 visitors from outside Whitehorse and the hotels were jammed full. The winning flour packing weight was 500 pounds in a tie between Jim MacCormick and Danny Jackson. The Chilkat dancers came to the festivities with $15,000 worth of costumes and PWA flew into Ross River to bring out their dog musher entries and in the time it took to load the plane, one of the teams decided to make one more practice run and off they mushed. PWA returned the next day for the errant team. Diana McNeil was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous.
New to the Festival – Sourdough Pancake breakfast, Basketball tournament, Bowling tournament, barbecue, Poster contest, Fireworks. Categories for Beard contest – Bushiest, Best Trimmed, Queerest, Mutton Chops beards, in the mustache category Fullest and best trimmed.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -20c on March 1st, HIGH -0.6c on February 28th
In 1965, Pete Hudson took over as Chairperson for the festival and Donna Bigham (Skagway, Ak) was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. New events included the Art exhibition, One Dog Pull (550 pounds of Dog food pulled for 25 feet), Motorized Toboggan Race, Queens Banquet, City of Whitehorse Reception, Display of Indian Crafts at Skookum Jim Hall
On the opening day of the dog races, Babe Southwick, Vice-President of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association and the only lady competing, mushed her dogs to third place and then collapsed afterwards of a heart attack. She was taken to the hospital where she died with the last wish that her team be allowed to finish the competition. Accordingly, Alex Van Bibber, an old friend who was acting as a course marshal, took over for Saturday and Sunday. Babe Southwick’s number in the race “8” was retired forever.
Other notes of interest were that Princess Seeseequasis 1965 Canadian Indian Princess in attendance during this years Rendezvous as a guest of the Queen Contest. The winning Flour packing weight was 550 pounds by Jim MacCormick across the 350 foot course. Beard Buttons made their appearance and anyone caught without one and with no whiskers went to the Crow Bar Hotel immediately. This was also the first year School children are given a holiday on the Friday of the Festival.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -26.7c on February 22nd, HIGH -1.7c on February 24th
In 1966 Howard Ryder took over as chair of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival and Linda Kunze was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous.
Prior to the opening day of Rendezvous, Paul Ben Kassi of Old Crow had no sponsor and could not afford to bring himself and his dogs and equipment to Whitehorse. A local newspaper carried the story and the item aroused the interest of a Learned Kansas woman who had met Mr. Kassi in 1963. She wired Whitehorse for information concerning the costs of sponsoring and by return mail sent a cheque to cover the cost. The Yukon Dog Mushers association made Mrs. Lavena Wheeler an Honorary member that year.
At the Sourdough Pancake breakfast about 400 pounds of flours is consumed. In the One Dog Pull, Jared Wilkinson of Pelly Crossing had a dog Mac who pulled 1,165 Pounds of Dog Food. Riverside Grocery who donated the dog food only had 1,000 pounds down on the river and when it became evident that Mac was capable of more, Alex Van Bibber tossed on the extra poundage from his own team’s supply. First prize in the Queen raffle was an Acadian Sports Coupe with all the trimmings (the first time ever for a car as a prize).
New to the Festival in 1966 - The Drama Club Can Can girls started to make the rounds of the bars presenting mimes and Rendezvous song to add to the excitement of Rendezvous. Moose Calling contest, Skydiver down on the River. Escapades on Blades with stars from the Capilano Winter Club in Vancouver.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -19.4c on February 21st, HIGH +5c on February 23rd
In 1967 Howard Ryder continued as chair and Lenore Hakonson of Dawson City was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. This was also the first year that the winner of the Queen Contest was determined by ticket sales as well as poise, talent, deportment, and personality.
New to the Festival – The Yukon Teachers Association organized Junior Sourdough Rendezvous. All day Friday, special events take place, including Ski races, Mukluk races, Junior Dog Sled races, Snowshoe races, a Tug-O-War and a Fire Lighting-Pot contest. The Klondettes Singing Chorus Line.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -22.8c on February 26th, HIGH -1.1c on February 22nd
In 1968, Bob Choate was named chair and Margo Magnusson was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. First prize in the queen raffle was a car and won by a seven year old girl.
This was the first year an invitation was issued to dog mushers all over Canada to enter the dog sled races and the Chilkat dancers performed again for the festival. Alanis Obomsowin of Montreal entertained the crowds with ancient Indian legend songs accompanying herself on the “music stick bones” or on the drum. The RCMP lambasted the Canadian Forces in snowshoe baseball winning by the improbably and still to be notarized score of 4,937 to 4 to take home the Tangle Foot Trophy. The Chamber of Commerce in Yellowknife came over on a charter flight full of Rendezvous participants. New to the festival was the Indian Performing Arts Show and the Drama Club’s Frantic Follies toured the bars with songs, mimes and the can-can and Dorothy Warrington the Lady known as Lou sang in fantastic gowns.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -18.3c on February 19th, HIGH +3.9c on February 23rd
For 1969, Bob Choate was once again chair, and Pat Daws was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous.
This was the first year that the Pack Race (Freight Race) was added to the Dog Races with teams carting 100 pound sacks. The Bank of Montreal won for Best Decorated Commercial Establishment and Jean Chretien (Minister of Northern Development) and his wife and father were guests of honour at the festival. Mr. Cretien was fined $5 shortly after arriving for being beardless. The minister spent a few minutes in jail as the hoose-gow’s most famous prisoner and good naturedly demanded a release petition be sent to the Minister of Justice in Ottawa. His father Willie Chretien who was 81 was chosen by the Can Can girls from a crowd at the Friday night Open House to receive the Yukon Order of the Garter as the best darn garter watcher. The senior Mr. Cretien spoke very little English but soon caught on to the fact that he was to take the garter off Flora Dora’s leg and spiritedly entered into his task with much gusto. “Rawhide” Max Ferguson and his sidekick Allan McPhee arrived for the carnival too and had a great time kissing Queens, interviewing mushers and awarding prizes.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -24.4c on March 1st, HIGH -2.2c on February 27th & 28th
1970 to 1979
In 1970, Bill Royds was named chair and Sibell Hackney was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. The parade was moved to Sunday afternoon at the end of the festival. Stock Car Racing was added to Chadburn Lake and the “KEYSTONE KOPS” organized by the Jaycees of Whitehorse are determined to be the “young men of action”. The Annual Queen Contest was being run under the Canada Pageant rules with the possibility of laying the foundation for future entries to compete in Miss Canada.
Canada’s National Indian Princess (Evelyn Joseph from Vancouver) and Alex Scalplock (champion Indian dancer from Calgary) came to the festival as guests and judge of the native dance contest. Winning One Dog Pull was “Blackie” owned by Edwin Hager with an estimated weight of 1,050 pounds.
A new record in the flour packing by a tenacious photo clerk from Hougen’s department store who strolled out on his lunch hour. Uwe Meyer set the all-time 750 pounds over new course of 50 feet.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -21.7c on March 1st, HIGH +6.1c on February 24th
In 1971, Bill Royds continued as chair and Judy Crayford was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. Bruno Gerussi of the Gerussi Show was a guest of the festival. The finest military band in Canada the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry Marching Band was featured at several events this year. In addition to all this, Vancouver broadcaster Jack Webster was a special guest broadcaster at the festival
New to the festival in 1971 was Motorcycle racing, a Chess tournament, and the Old Time Fiddle contest. The was also the first year that Mr. & Mrs Yukon are presented as chosen by the Yukon Order of Pioneers. They are special guests of many of the Rendezvous events at the Festival. This year it was Jack and Hazel Meloy. 1971 was also the first year of many that Gillian Campbell (direct from the music halls of Britain) appears at various events throughout Rendezvous with a honky tonk band known as the Red Garter Boys. As well this was the First Annual Rendezvous Air Show.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -37.2c on February 27th, HIGH 0c on February 20th
In 1972, Carole Keddy as named as the chair, Susan Donald was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough and Chappie & Mattie Chapman of Watson Lake were named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. Colourful musher Paul Ben Kassi of Old Crow is a victim of drowning and he and his team is missing from this year’s races after being a part of them since 1965. 1972 is the first year the Rendezvous Queen wore the Sourdough Rendezvous Queen’s Gold Nugget Necklace, donated by Miners of Dawson City. This was the first year that the Canadian Forces Naden 40 member band featured during the festival, and a Broomball tournament was added to the festival that year.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -36.7 on February 26th, HIGH -9.4c on February 24th
In 1973, Pat Kennedy as named as the chair, Evelyn Kelsey of Faro was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and Mr & Mrs Jack MacDonald were named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. Colonel Sanders from KFC visited Rendezvous as the Guest of Honour, and this is the first year there was a Junior Rendezvous Queen contest. Gillian Campbell was a featured performer once again, and a new Flour Packing Contest record was set by Uwe Meyer who packed 800 pounds! As well a record was posted in the One Dog Pull, a tie at 1300 pounds by “Storm” (owned by George Washington) and “Duke” (owned by Gordon Erickson).
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -23.9 on February 23rd & 25th, HIGH +4.4c on February 20th
In 1974, Robert Dunlop as named as the chair, Phyllis Brennan was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and David and Rosie Johnston were named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. New to the festival in 1974 was the Whipsaw Contest and the Armed Forces Snowbirds presented a flying display. Also featured was the Chilkoot Climb, Frantic Follies, and the Tabletop Hockey Tournament.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -34.4c on February 28th, HIGH -0.6c on March 3rd
In 1975, Vic Hoy was named as the chair, Kathy Horton was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and G.I and Martha Cameron were named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. New to the festival was the Horseshoe Pitch, Fun Fair & Barn Dance, Pizza Eating Contest, Beer Drinking Contest, the Souvenir Rendezvous Dollar, Snowshoe Obstacle, 3-legged and backwards races. Uwe Meyer set another Flour Packing Record, packing 850 pounds, and Mary Simpson won the Women’s Flour Packing – packing 500 pounds. “Duke” (St. Bernard owned by Gordon Erickson) set a one dog pull record with 1800 pounds pulled!
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -17.8c on February 24th, HIGH +2.8c on February 26th
For 1976, we do not have a record as to who was chair, however Linda Church was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and Walter & Leta Israel were named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. CBC Performer, Gordie Tapp makes an appearance at the festival as do the Amouak Dancers from Fairbanks, sponsored by the Skookum Jim Hall. As well, a little event called “Spruce Bog” makes an appearance at the festival.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -35.6c on February 28th, HIGH -5.0c on February 23rd
In 1977, Arnie Kidner was named as the chair, Adele (Maruk) Mole was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough, and Rene and Mary Burian were named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. It is likely that 1977 will be remembered as the year of the canoe races on the Yukon River as a result of the warmest Rendezvous ever. The race ran from the Whitehorse Dam to the Robert Campbell Bridge. Woman’s Flour Packing winner was Janeane MacGillivray at 490 pounds, and the Men’s Flour Packing Record was broken and reset at 840 pounds by Bob Jackson.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -14.8c on February 26th, HIGH +3.4c on February 21st
In 1978, Ted Staffen was named as the chair, Marie Chouinard was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, and Eino & Margaret Hill were named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. The Rendezvous Folk Show and Mad Trapper Competition made their debuts at the ’78 Festival as did a piece of safety equipment that is still used today – the Flour Packing Gantry! Speaking of Flour Packing, the Women’s Flour Packing record was set at 500 pounds by Barbara Eaking of Juneau.
Four Dawson mushers drove their teams all the way from Dawson City. It was a trip of 460 miles and it took Jean Legare, Tim Berberding, Cor Guimond and James Bouton a full and grueling 20 days to make the trip down the Yukon River. Women’s flour packing record set at 500 pounds by Barbara Eaking of Juneau
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -19.1c on February 26th, HIGH +3.3c on February 20th
In 1979, Dave Griffiths was named as the chair, Debbie Kerr was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and Bob & Zoe Cousins were named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. Dr. Bundolo’s Pandemonium Medicine Show from CBC Radio taped in Whitehorse. New events included a Backgammon Tournament, Toboggan Race, Leg Wrestling, the Great Yukon T-Shirt Exposition, Savoy Slide Show of Past Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Celebrity Auction, United Church Women’s Luncheon and Fashion Show, Dart Competition, Craft Show, and a Sky Diving Exhibition. The Flour Packing records were reset again in 1979 as Larry Patenode carried 900 pounds for the men’s and Heather Cook carried 600 pounds for the women’s.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -38.3c on February 24th, HIGH -15.4c on February 24th
In 1980, Ian Bladon was named as the chair, Debby Lethbridge was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and Jack & Mary McDiarmid were named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. New events included Arm Wrestling, Civic Dinner, Helicopter Rides, MacAuley Lodge Tea, Carlton Show Band, Log Cabin Building, Madam Trapper, Swede Sawing, and the Hanky Panky Dog Race. The Women’s Flour Packing Contest record was taken by Heather Cook of Fort Nelson as she carried 660 pounds (300kg).
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -25.7c on February 18th, HIGH +0.6c on February 24th
In 1981, Bob Iwanicki was named as the chair, Susan Kingswell was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and Jack & Wilma Brewster were named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. New to the Festival – Hairy Leg Contest, Roaring Rendezvous Revue, and Trap Setting.
The Arm wrestling competition this year was officially sanctioned by the Canadian Arm Wrestling Association, and this was the first documented year that the Keystone Kops are nabbing garterless women too.
Jack Hulland School students create banners for the lights on Main Street. Champion Fiddler and CBC Personality Al Cherny appears at the Fiddle Contest, and the women’s Flour Packing record was broken by Joan McKinnon who packed 621 pounds for 35 feet!
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -22.5c on February 24th, HIGH +2.0c on March 1st
For 1982 we do not have the name of the festival chair, however we do know that Wendy Nelson was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and Ed & Irene Whitehouse are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon.
This is the year that the Corporate Challenge makes its debut and a new flour packing record is set for the men with Bob Jackson carrying 926 pounds!
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -39.7c on February 28th, HIGH -12.2c on February 19th
In 1983, Fred Jennex was named as the chair, Donna Sippel was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and Laurent & Corrine Cyr are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. John Allen Cameron appears at the Fiddle Show for CBC.
New to Festival – Tobacco Spittin’, Chainsaw Chucking, Br R’Vous, Bartender Race, Taku Bottle-Walk, Home Brew Contest, The Trapdoor Society - Male Can Can Line ( Kapital Kickers)
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -18.5c on February 22nd, HIGH +4.8c on February 24th
In 1984, Kees Ruurs was named as the chair, Sharon Greenway was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and Len & Lillian Usher are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon.
New to the Festival – Family Dance, Chili Bake-off, Bum Bum Revue, Air Show , Sourdough Bread Bake-off, CBC Mosaic Story Telling Contest, Cooking Contest, Train Pull, Olympic Volleyball, Sugar Shack
Canada’s National Men’s Volleyball Team which will compete at the 1984 L.A. Olympic Games played an exhibition match. Comedian Charlie Hill makes an appearance at the Festival. Band East Coast Rider performs during Rendezvous. This is also the first record of the Sugar Shack making an appearance at the festival.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -17.6c on February 25th, HIGH +4.9c on March 2nd
In 1985, Kees Ruurs continued as chair of the festival, Frances Harach was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, and Will & Irene Crayford are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon. New to Festival – Mimicking Musical.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -32.7c on February 16th, HIGH -10.1c on February 16th
In 1986, Jean Des Lauriers was named as chair of the festival, Katie Hopkins was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, and Charlie & Betty Taylor were named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon.
YSR has more than 100 events this year, 85% of which have no admission fee and are geared for all ages. Rock bands Sudden Impact and Perfect Strangers performing during the festival.
1986 was the introduction of the Snowshoe Can-Can dancers Lake Lebarge Marj and Rat River Mary. With that it was also the introduction of the Sourdough Sam Contest (Events- Potty Parade, Smooth Talking Sam, Kobassa Eating Contest, Hairy Leg Contest, Bare ‘N Boot Show, Glamour Goes North, Tall Tales, Jigging, Mix-it, Behind the 8-Ball, Knighting). Trapper’s Tenacious Ted (Mike Ivens) won the contest that year.
Also new to the festival - Crab Races, Crazy Curling, Ice & Snow Sculpture, Cabin Fever Cabaret, Kobassa Contest, Radio-Tall Tales, Ragtime Piano Contest, Scavenger Hunt, Scrabble Tournament, School Challenge, Tug-A-Truck, Festival Kick-Off Music Jam, Gold Panning Competition.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -31.2c on February 23rd, HIGH +5.1c on February 27th
In 1987, Trevor McKeown was named as chair of the festival, Judy Jackson was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Jack & Agnes Andison were named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon and Shane Dewald (Slipper Sternwheeler Stu) was named Sourdough Sam.
New to the Festival – Order of the Royal Purple Tea, Queen Dinner, Family Hotdogger Fun Night, Ragtime Piano/Banjo/Whistling, Horse & Buggy Rides, Rendezvous Fun Run, Celebrity & Fun Speed Skating Races, Over-the-line Baseball, Barstool on Skis Race, Barmaid Retaliation Race
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -21.6c on March 1st, HIGH +4.0c on February 24th
In 1988, Myrna Kingscote was named as chair of the festival, Leanne Brassard was named as Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Edward & Elizabeth Karman were named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon and Glen Wreggit (Kaptain Kourageous) was named as Sourdough Sam.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -24.5c on February 22nd, HIGH +5.3c on February 25th
THE 25th ANNIVERSARY! In 1989, Myrna Kingscote continued as chair of the festival, Christine O’Connor was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Wally and Mary McCullaugh are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Art Monk (Captain Capital) was named as Sourdough Sam. New to the festival was the Speed Chess Tournament and the Snow Bowl Challenge Cup.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -27.1c on February 19th, HIGH +1.2c on February 22nd
1990 to 1999
In 1990, Myrna Kingscote continued as chair of the festival, Maxine Lindsay was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Arthur and Muriel Privett were named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Carl Baynes (Captain Capital) was named the Sourdough Sam. This was also the first recorded Spelling Bee happening during the festival.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -35.5c on February 16th, HIGH -20.3c on February 26th
In 1991, Darren Trerice was named chair of the festival, Crystal Wood was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Alfred & Letitia Tomlin were named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Allen Evans (Prospecting Pioneer) was named Sourdough Sam. Richard Chippett sets a new men’s Flour Packing Contest record by carrying 1002 pounds for 44 feet!
New to Festival – Hot Air Balloon Rides, Hayrides, Mr & Mrs Yukon Ball, Family Synchronized Sing Mimicking Contest, Comedy Mill, Sasparilla Sisters, Trivia Grand Finals, Teen Airband Contest, Robert Service Festival, Car Stuffing Finals, Elementary School Challenge, MR. Mad/Madam Trapper, Pet Parade, Tea Boiling, Jigging, Smoosh Board, Great Yukon Tricycle Races, Egg Toss, Pie Eating, Northern Outdoors Challenge.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -28.9c on February 21st, HIGH +4.3c on February 23rd
In 1992, Darren Trerice continued as chair of the festival, Lisa Mitchell was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Orval & Helen Couch are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and a Sourdough Alumni Team (Capital Highwaymen) are named as Sourdough Sam (Don Irwin, Barney Roberge, Carl Baines, and Neil Regimbald).
This is the 50th Anniversary of the Alaska Highway, which sees a flurry of 1942 themed decorations and shows being featured, including the USO Tour Show and the Cordwood Road Challenge. Ma Fletcher the Rainbow Man performs during the Festival
This is also the first year of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous International Yukon River Goldrush Bath Tub Race – Whitehorse to Dawson City (approx. 460 miles) in August. Winners Al & Jason Rock of Whitehorse.
Record set for the warmest weather recorded at the festival.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -32.4c on February 21st, HIGH +11.5c on February 26th
In 1993, Darren Trerice continued as chair of the festival, Britni Heebink was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, William & Winnie Atlin are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Grant Pearson (Sternwheeler Stud) is named Sourdough Sam.
New to the festival were the Mad Rider Winter Mountain Bike Race, Triathalon, Ping Pong Drop, and the Turkey Shoot. This is also the first record of no dog races being run due to lack of funds.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -27.1c on February 21st, HIGH +7.0c on February 27th
In 1994, Darren Trerice continued as chair of the festival, Brandy Vallevand was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Les & Myrna Butterworth are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Leon Meyn (Captain Hardrock) is named Sourdough Sam.
New to the Festival – Princess Contest, Karaoke Challenge, , Pillow Toss, Team Yukon Challenge, Pizza Eating Contest, Timbit Toss, Pooper Pull, Snowgolf, Snow Volleyball Tournament, Axe Toss
National media ascended upon the festival in 1994 when the society had a man run for Rendezvous Queen for the first time in festival history. Mr. Capital Hotel as he became known as wanted to draw attention to the contest and its importance to the territory. For his efforts he was named Mr. Congeniality for 1994.
Again, no dog races due to lack of funds.
Record set for lowest overnight temperatures ever during the festival.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -40.5c on February 26th, HIGH -15.9c on February 27th
In 1995, Marj Eschak is named as chair of the festival, Lynn Braeden was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Lloyd & Marny Ryder are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Chris McNutt (Komander Kaos) is named Sourdough Sam.
Major changes are made to the festival. It is widely reported that the society is in deep financial trouble and therefore changes are necessary. The festival is moved back to Main Street and shortened from fourteen days to four. The society is focused on paying down the approx. $ 100,000 in debt that has been accumulated. Sponsors come forward as does the general public with great support. The office is moved to the Westmark Whitehorse under a major sponsorship agreement. As well, CBC no longer wishes to produce the Fiddle Contest, leaving this long standing tradition in trouble. The festival decides to produce the contest itself to keep the tradition alive and recruits Bill & Rusty Reid and Marg Tatum to assist. However again, the festival is unable to host dog races due to lack of funds.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -33c on February 18th, HIGH -0.3c on February 20th
In 1996, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Angeline Joe was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Rod & Enid Tait are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Jeff Brewster (Airline Skyjacker) is named as Sourdough Sam.
The revitalization of the festival continues and sees the society reach out to all Yukon communities to join in. The society also works with Air North to promote the festival to Juneau and Fairbanks, seeing charters coming to the festival from Alaska. The Mad(am) Trapper is re-introduced to the festival as an “Athlete of all Athletes contest” with participants taking part in the Flour Packing, Chainsaw Chuck, Axe Toss, and Swede Saw Contests. New Events included the Eucher Tournament, Waiter/Waitress Olympics, Family Challenge, and Street Hockey Tournament. However the dog races were still not able to be run due to continued lack of funds.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -38c on February 24th, HIGH -4.0c on February 26th
In 1997, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Heather Johnson was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Ray & Bobbie Magnuson are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon , and Barry Hildebrand (Marvelous Mel) is named Sourdough Sam. Dawn Kisoun sets a new Women’s Flour Packing Record by carrying 664 pounds!
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -17c on February 18th&19th, HIGH +7.0c on February 22nd
In 1998, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Rose Sellars was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Fred & Palma Berger are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Jason Jennings (Captain Codfather) is named Sourdough Sam.
This is the 100th Anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush. Sourdough Rendezvous is a major contributor to the celebrations by working with the Yukon Anniversaries Commission to assist in any way we can. These efforts bring about the Great Northern Community Challenge seeing teams from Yukon communities competing in Whitehorse during the festival. In exchange, the festival attends events in the communities to build Yukon pride.
The major news of 1998 is that due to an agreement with Hougen Group of Companies and White Pass, the dog races are returned to the festival. Wendel & Cheryl Carey are instrumental in organizing the races for the festival and locating the Babe Southwick Memorial Trophy and bringing it back to Yukon.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -15.7c on February 19th, HIGH +2.4c on February 17th
THE 35th ANNIVERSARY! In 1999, Grant Pearson is named as chair of the festival, Shelly MacCannell was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Stan & Joyce Fuller are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and the team of “Clan Capital” (Barney Roberge, Don Fulmer, Jason Jennings, and Teddy Jennings) is named Sourdough Sam.
New to the Festival – Night Snowmobile Drags, Kids Melodrama, Murder at the Stampeder’s Ball, Snowmobile Cross races, Frozen Chicken Bowling.
The Society is named as one of the Top 100 Events in North America, and Top 20 in Canada. This draws major media attention to the festival, even seeing a radio station from Ohio attend the festival and broadcast their morning show from the festival for five days.
Due to increased sponsorship, increased fundraising, and cost cutting the society announces that it will be debt free at the end of fiscal year.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -28.5c on February 21st, HIGH -1.9c on February 26th
2000 to 2009
In 2000, Dale Cheeseman is named as chair of the festival, Jodi Laluk was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, David & Teresa Smith are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Gerry Weins (Caribou Cowboy) is named Sourdough Sam.
The festival is once again named one of the Top 100 Events in North America and one of the Top 19 events in Canada. New to the Festival – Dog Howling Contest.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -20.5c on February 22nd, HIGH +4.3c on February 19th
In 2001, Marj Eschak returns as chair of the festival, Samantha Mason was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Ian & Kay Campbell are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Noel Weins (Capital Contractor) is named Sourdough Sam.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -27.5c on February 18th, HIGH -4.8c on February 22nd
In 2002, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Rebecca Manchul was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Jim & Marsha Flumerfelt are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Hector Lang (Boiler Room Bandit) is named Sourdough Sam. This year saw the festival move to Shipyard’s Park.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -29.2c on February 24th, HIGH -0.2c on February 16th
In 2003, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Allison White was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Gordon & Rose Toole are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Damon Crosby (Leroy Love) is named Sourdough Sam.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -27.3c on February 21st, HIGH +2.1c on March 1st
In 2004, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Adrienne Marsh was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Bill & Lenore Ford are named as Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Simon Gormley (Truckin’ Irishman) is named as Sourdough Sam.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -20c on February 29th, HIGH +5.2c on March 1st
In 2005, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Caroline Muff was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Percy & Mabel Henry are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Kevin Sweeney (Private Parts) is named Sourdough Sam. The Yukon Golden Girls become regular performers around Rendezvous.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -18.2c on February 26th, HIGH +4.7c on February 27th
In 2006, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Tanya Schmitt was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Art & Faye Deer are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Keith Jacobsen/Jordan Kulicki (202 Airborne) are named Sourdough Sam.
No dog sled races are possible this year due to lack of snow. Rick Mercer attends and tapes during the festival. New to the festival is a Tattoo Contest, and the Slide & Glide at Shipyards Park.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -31.1c on February 24th, HIGH -0.7c on February 25th
In 2007, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Jacklyn Stockstill was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Rudy & Janey Couture are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon.
The festival was held early, and dramatically cut back due to the Canada Winter Games being held in Whitehorse at the end of February.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -17.6c on February 17th, HIGH -8.9c on February 16th
In 2008, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Lindsay Agar was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Neille (Bucky) Buckway & Shirley Keobke are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Eric Southwick Walker (Misbehavin’ Raven) is named Sourdough Sam.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -21.3c on February 23rd, HIGH +3.8c on February 25th
In 2009, Marj Eschak continues as chair of the festival, Reba Parris was named Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, Kenneth & Aldene Snider are named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon, and Graham Barny (Barnyard Barny) is named Sourdough Sam.
WEATHER STATS: LOW: -29.7c on February 22nd, HIGH -3.8c on February 21st