Sunday, June 22, 2014

Yay for the beer barge!

The beer barge has arrived in Yellowknife, heralding the start of summer.

Back in the old timey days, the first barge that made its way across Great Slave Lake to Yellowknife, right after spring break up, carried a supply of beer. Given a lack of roads and the fact beer is heavy (so expensive to fly in), the little mining camp on the edge of the big lake would run dry towards the end of winter. The arrival of the beer barge was an occasion of great joy.

And it still is. We now have a road in, but the re-enactment of the arrival of the barge is a great way to remember Yellowknife's heritage, and as well as acting as a fund raiser for good work of the NWT Mining Heritage Society. We go down to Max Ward's dock in the Old Town, try to guess what time the barge will come in, have a barbecue and drink of (you guessed it) beer. A lovely way to kick off summer.

(Photo: the 2014 beer barge just about to reach shore at Max Ward's dock in Yellowknife's Old Town.)