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All about sticking with tradition
Beavertail Jamboree line-up draws on old favourites

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 24, 2011

LIIDLII KUE/FORT SIMPSON - This year's Beavertail Jamboree in Fort Simpson is all about tradition.

NNSL photo/graphic

The tea boiling contest, an event that Ethel Lamothe entered last year, is once again part of the traditional games line-up at the Beavertail Jamboree in Fort Simpson. - NNSL file photo

The events that will take place from March 6 to 13 are almost all well-known favourites with only a few new options scattered in between. The events for the annual jamboree are chosen based on popular demand and who's available to run them, said Cindy Browning, a member of the organizing committee.

The week of events will begin on a very traditional note with a fire feeding ceremony on March 6, followed by a children's sliding party. A bonfire will be held at the papal site just before the fireworks, something that's only been tried once before.

During the week, events will include the ever-popular single and doubles crib tournaments and a Rock Band competition for youth. Thursday is a big day for the jamboree, featuring the feast and the crowning of the royalty.

A total of 13 youths are in the running for the titles of king, queen, prince and princess of the Beavertail Jamboree. The contestant who sells the most tickets in their division is crowned the winner. The ticket draw will also be held on Thursday night with prizes ranging from $500 for third place, $1,000 for second and $1,500 for first.

The jamboree will continue to ramp up on Friday afternoon with a free community lunch, children's games and the corporate challenge.

"The corporate challenge is always a popular event," Browning said.

Friday night's entertainment will include the $10,000 TV bingo, the youth talent show and teen dance, and an adult dance.

Tradition is once again at the forefront over the weekend with the traditional games. Jerry Antoine, who's organizing the games, said he has a list of 16 possible activities that he is still narrowing down.

Confirmed activities include log toss, log chopping, tea boiling, bannock making and snow snake. Log sawing will also be back, but with a twist. Instead of a bow saw, a more traditional two-handled bucksaw will be used.

"It's something our ancestors had used before," Antoine said.

Antoine has also tentatively scheduled moose leg skinning, beaver skinning and fish gutting if the necessary supplies can be acquired from local harvesters. Antoine joked that his favourite part of the traditional games is drinking tea and eating the traditional foods that are always cooking over the fire.

"What I really like about it is it gets families together," he said.

Other activities over the weekend will include one of Browning's favourite events, the adult talent show. It's always fun to watch the show and see everyone's different talents, she said.

Browning said the jamboree wouldn't be possible without sponsorship and volunteers.

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