Day 20 at Berton House

Last Thursday, July 19, 2007, I was shopping for groceries at the General Store on Front Street. There were 3 children out front playing their fiddles. When I left the store, a fourth child gave me a flier for their show. The last show in their run at the Palace Grand Theatre was that very night.

I decided to go, and spent $15 on a ticket. This was my first opportunity to see the insides of the Palace Grand. It was beautiful, polished wood on the inside. The seats were just loose, straight chairs. There were box seats upstairs, but I was too late to get one of those. Because I was stag and am short, I got an end seat on the front row.

The show was GREAT! The kids appeared to range from about 6 to 16 years old. And they all fiddled well. The show was called "Fiddleheads present FIDDLE RUSH."

The show itself was a bit macabre. These three people go into a cemetery and play their instruments (two fiddles & one guitar) and manage to raise the dead children of Dawson from the Gold Rush era. And surprisingly, all the dead children of Dawson play the fiddle. Much music ensues.

Then afterwards, all the children, in their period costumes and ghostly makeup, went out front of the Theatre and played some more while the audience took pictures of them.

Today, Sunday, July 22, is the last day of the Dawson City Music Festival. www.dcmf.com

I've been volunteering at the festival t-shirt & CD booth. It's at the Main Stage (tent), which is one of the 5 venues in the city for the festival. I now know how to use the credit/debit machine. A valuable skill I'm sure. My Friday shift was hopping. I don't think I stopped moving for 5 hours. All the locals know that the festival t-shirts sell out fast. And they do. They were almost all gone by 9pm on Friday when I finished my shift.

I came back on Saturday at 4pm for my next shift and the clothing was almost all gone. The only items that were not selling well were the hoodies. Given it's been 29C all weekend, there wasn't much impetus to buy one.

I did want to mention one group that were the hit of the festival. They are a "throat singing" group called Chirgilchin from Tuva, Russia (although they dress and appear to be of Asian ancestry). The program book says: "Their music, characteristic of low resonating sounds, and haunting flute-like melodies, will capture and captivate this year's Music Festival audience." And they did. They sold of their CDs by Sunday afternoon. They seemed surprised to have done so well.

The festival has a fascinating event on late Sunday afternoon which I went to (and worked the booth a couple extra hours) called Pot Luck, where all the performers play together and jam. Which is really interesting when you've got the "throat singers" singing with the Celtic singers backed by the hard rock band.

The weekend ends at midnight tonight. The final line-up at the Main Stage is: Beolach, Jim Byrnes, Ladyhawk, Ndidi Onukwulu, and Jon-Rae and the River.

There are so many people in town for this event, it's crazy downtown. People were lined up onto the sidewalks to get into Kate's for brunch. The Shell station was jammed with vehicles buying gas (and they have 6 pumps).

I bought a t-shirt on Friday, and a nice hoodie on Saturday. I'm here until September and I know it'll get cold enough to wear it all too soon.

After listening to Jim Byrnes, I bought his Juno-Award-winning album (Blues album of the Year 2007). He was excellent! I have to say that both Ladyhawk and Ndidi Onukwulu were not to my taste -- too hard. I did not stay for Jon-Rae and the River, but I have no doubt I'll be able to hear them through my window. We are only about two short blocks away. (He actually sounded a lot like Meatloaf.)

Kudos to Wanda for running the sale's booth. I had a great time!

I also bought a cider at the beer tent. The mayor of Dawson, John Steins, served me. He seems a nice guy. Looks kinda like Stephen King but shorter.

Now it's 12:15am and at the festival they are very loudly singing "Winter Wonderland."

Sunrise tomorrow is at 4:55am
Sunset tomorrow is at 11:48pm
Tomorrow's day length will be 88 minutes shorter than it was on day 1 in Dawson. We'll have lost 1.5 hours of daylight in a mere 21 days. Sigh.

- Carolyn