Academic journal article Manitoba History

Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival Celebrates 70 Years

Academic journal article Manitoba History

Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival Celebrates 70 Years

Article excerpt

Originating during the height of the First World War in 1916, the Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival celebrated its 70th year in The Pas, Manitoba on the third weekend of February this year. The intent of the Festival is to celebrate the heritage and culture of the northern pioneer, and to preserve many of the skills and entertainments inherent to them by basing the celebrations and competitions on those activities. Gathering together the creativity and energy of the participating communities (mainly Flin Flon, Cranberry Portage, Churchill and The Pas), this event also embraces a range of interesting and engaging events. The overall organizers of the event are members of the local Kinsmen Club, but corporate sponsors and the participating communities all contribute whole-heartedly to make it a standout event.

It started mainly as a sled dog race, and the mushers and dogs remain central to the Trappers' Festival, which generates huge excitement and participation from teams across Canada and USA. Having been tweaked over the decades, the present race format is three long laps over the three days, with time trials for each day and an aggregate winner for the gruelling 105-mile event. Photo-ops of fur-clad mushers and their excited huskies are iconic to the event as a whole, but there is so much more. …

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