Yellowknife's Long John Jamboree moves to dry land due to warm weather

Long John Jamboree organizers say they aren't letting unseasonably warm temperatures stop the festival from going ahead.

Long John Jamboree moving to Fieldhouse lot after Snowking's Winter Festival shuttered early

Children enjoying the Sugar Shack, a popular attraction at the annual festival. Due to unusually warm weather, the Long John Jamboree is moving from its traditional spot on Great Slave Lake to the Yellowknife Fieldhouse parking lot. (Long John Jamboree)

Unseasonably warm temperatures have caused another Yellowknife winter festival to suddenly change its plans.

After Snowking's Winter Festival closed down a week early over the weekend due to above-zero conditions and a melting snow castle, Long John Jamboree organizers have decided to relocate their 2019 celebration.

The board is moving the Great Slave Lake event — billed as "a celebration on ice!" —  to the Yellowknife Fieldhouse parking lot.

"While we will not be able to enjoy the aesthetic and emotion that being on the lake provides, the pioneering attitude of being a true northerner means that we must adapt to the conditions presented to us," reads a Long John Jamboree press release dated Sunday.

"For the first time in eight years, the Long John Jamboree will be a 'land' event."

The free, family-oriented festival on Yellowknife Bay typically includes an ice carving competition and other cold-climate activities, as well as live music and food.

Organizers say this year's festival, which is set to take place March 29 to 31, will still have a full schedule of events, including ice carving.

Crews set up for the Long John Jamboree, which is set to take place March 29 to 31, at the Yellowknife Fieldhouse parking lot. (Chantal Dubuc/CBC)

Putting a positive spin on the site change, they say perks of the Fieldhouse are that it's "extremely accessible to everyone as there is safe parking," and that the area is easier for everyone to walk around on, because it's free of ice.

This is the second year the Long John Jamboree has run into weather-related complications.

Last year, organizers were forced to temporarily shut down the festival when powerful winds made putting up tents a dangerous task.

Ice carving, a highlight of the festival, will still take place, say Long John Jamboree organizers. (Submitted by Long John Jamboree)

The festival lost more than $10,000 as a result.

"Mother Nature has presented us with a second year of challenging weather," says the press release.

But, it goes on, "We won't let her get us down!"


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