Warmest-ever Long John Jamboree in prospect this weekend

Long John Jamboree
The Long John Jamboree site on Yellowknife Bay.
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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.

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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.”

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Weather: Current forecast for Yellowknife

At the Jamboree: If you want to learn how to build an igloo, here’s your chance

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.

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“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.”

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