Annual street party coming soon
Raven Mad Daze set for June 16

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 10/00) - After some difficulty finding a new organizer for this year's Raven Mad Daze festivities, the job has finally been filled.

Carol Van Tighem has been involved with several local associations and charities in the past, and she says she feels ready to take on one of Yellowknife's more busier annual festivals.

"We're going like crazy," said Van Tighem about the June 16 event.

"There is a boiling pot of interest from small merchants, businesses and past volunteers just to get it going."

Raven Mad Daze operations will be working out of the Northern Frontier Visitor's Centre and, according to Van Tighem, the more volunteers involved the better.

"We're looking for volunteers and they're desperately needed and welcome," Van Tighem said.

Some shopowners, who have regularly taken part in the Friday night festivities in previous years, say that they will not be open for business on Raven Mad Daze this year.

"We've had all kinds of things in the past, booths and sales in the store," said Norma Heslep, owner of Langlois on 50th Street.

"But we've just had a Saturday sale for the last three years. I'm not sure about the other stores, but we find that being between the three bars is too difficult to manage.

"It's still been very good generally. People seem to prefer the Saturday sale anyway."

Bullock's Bistro, who have also operated a downtown kiosk during Raven Mad Daze in past years, will not be setting up shop this year either.

"We didn't have one last year and our plate's kind of full right now," Sam Bullock said.

While Van Tighem acknowledges that the large crowds during the evening can be at times overwhelming, she said that most Yellowknifers -- shopowners and shoppers alike -- enjoy the midnight sale.

"I think for part of the evening it might be a little squished on the street, but generally it's a fun family time with good food, good bargains and good entertainment," Van Tighem said.

"And plus, you get to stay up until midnight."

Lisa Tesar, manager of the Gallery nightclub, said whether or not Raven Mad Daze goes on as usual this year, the establishment still plans to go ahead with their own regular annual festivities.

"We fund-raise for a youth event every year and this year we're doing it for SADD (Students Against Drunk driving)," Tesar said.

"We'll be selling Pepsi floats in front of the Gallery again. Our deejay Kirby always dresses up as clown and he's got a unicycle. We'll have deejays out front and we're going to have a hula-hoop contest for the kids. The whole staff gets involved."