This year’s Long John Jamboree looks set to be the warmest yet – by a distance.
Forecasters suggest Yellowknife’s winter festival can expect temperatures to peak above freezing on Friday, then drop only slightly to -2C on Saturday and Sunday.
That’s in stark contrast to previous years.
In 2014, weekend temperatures didn’t get past -23C. Nor does that include the windchill from 30 km/h winds.
A year earlier, overnight lows hit -34C and never exceeded -18C.
The Jamboree’s inaugural year, 2012, saw a brief high of -2C on Sunday but an average of -12C.
“It’s been bitterly, brutally cold for the last three years,” admitted Jamboree president Janet Pacey.
“The first year we thought, ‘We’ll move it back a week, maybe the weather will be better.’ It wasn’t.
“We did have a lot of people upset – ‘Oh, you need more windbreaks.’ It’s an outdoor festival, people. Go in a tent and warm up.”
Weather: Current forecast for Yellowknife
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Nancy MacNeill, the festival’s executive director, is thrilled at the prospect of shedding some layers for this year’s event.
“Physically, it’s going to look a lot different. People will be wearing fewer things,” she enthused to Moose FM.
“I’m really excited to shed my parka and just wear long johns and snowpants for a couple of days. That’s going to be amazing.
“People are going to be able to hang out – relax on the ice, not speed through the activities, spend the whole day enjoying the Jamboree. There won’t be any need to go home and warm up.”
More information: Full Long John Jamboree schedule
Pacey added: “I think it’ll make a huge difference. People will come out in droves.
“We had tons of people last year – it was kind-of amazing – but for people to just come down on the ice and take part (in cold conditions), it can be rough.
“This will change the mood.”