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Juneau will get a taste of a Yukon rendezvous this weekend. Preview visitors arriving in Juneau this afternoon include four Snowshoe Shufflers and four cancan dancers.
"It'll be a flurry of crinolines and snowshoes," said "Lake Laberge Marj" Eschak, president of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society and a dancer herself.
In full period costume, the visitors will "perform all of their regular dance routines and skits, which include audience participation," said Doak Walker, chairman of the Whitehorse-Juneau Sister City Committee.
The preview events in Juneau include:
An energetic Gold Rush era dance performance followed by mingling, 7 p.m. today, Juneau Travelodge Lounge; no cover charge.
1 p.m., Saturday, Nugget Mall. Suitable for all ages.
7 p.m., Saturday, Sandbar Lounge, 2525 Industrial Blvd. Dance performance.
10 a.m. Sunday, Sponsor a Yukoner Brunch at Mi Casa. Treat a visitor to lunch. "We want to show our appreciation for all their effort to come down," said Walker.
Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous begins Feb. 16 in Whitehorse and winds up with a big parade Sunday, Feb. 25.
A festival like this is "the greatest concentration of new money you can get in a community," Eschak said. Rendezvous - founded in Whitehorse in 1962 - had a $1.8 million impact on the city in 2000, she added.
Those who head to Whitehorse next week have lots of entertainment in store, starting with a Sourdough Sam contest. The contest strives to identify the ultimate Alaska-Yukon male through 10 elimination events such as Lip Sync, Duct Tape Creations (an exercise in inventing), High Octane Cocktails, and an Obstacle Pool Tourney (played with antlers, a snowshoe and a plunger). Each elimination takes place at a different drinking establishment.
Juneau's Sourdough Sam candidate is Tim Stoll, AKA Joe Juneau. Rehearsing diligently for his 10 nights of competition, Stoll has been practicing lip sync to Marshall Tucker's "Searching for a Rainbow," and trying to concoct a potent cocktail. Half the time he'll be dressed as a golfer; the other half, he said, he'll be wearing a green rainsuit, "because that's in the Juneau mode."
The height of the frenzy takes place on Main Street from Feb. 22 to 25, with activities such as chain saw chucking, a dog pull, frozen chicken bowling and flour packing. Flour packing involves as much as 800 pounds of flour, balanced on stout backs, then carried as far as possible.
For up-to-date information on events and accommodations, see Whitehorse's Tourism Internet Web page listed under Hot Links at juneauempire.com.
Ann Chandonnet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.