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New activities at Nattiq Frolics

Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Monday, April 16, 2012

An archery competition, four-on-four pond hockey and games for elders are some of the new activities at Nattiq Frolics, Kugluktuk's week-long celebration of spring.

NNSL photo/graphic

Ethan Aleekuk earned first place for boys after participating in the children's snowmobile race during Nattiq Frolics in Kugluktuk on April 10. - photo courtesy of Jessica VanOverbeek

This year's event, held April 9 to 15, also features a parade, a traditional dress competition, a seal hunt, snowmobile races, a bingo, a bazaar and various corporate challenge activities such as a three-legged race and tug-of-war.

The opening day featured an archery competition, a new event which Jessica VanOverbeek, hamlet recreation co-ordinator, said is being tried out as the community has a new archery club with youth showing interest.

"It was pretty successful for the first one. Lots of youth that came but not a lot of adults," she said, adding about five adults came and a dozen youths. "I think it's kind of something the more we do it, the more people will come out and get excited about it."

Another novelty is the monster poker rally held on April 10 - one big rally as opposed to multiple smaller ones. The winning hand was three-of-a-kind, VanOverbeek said.

The annual week-long celebration started in 1978 and this year, VanOverbeek said it might make a small profit.

"The weather has been co-operating, so that's nice. Good turnout for both the fishing derby and for the races yesterday," she said on April 11. "I'm just anticipating it's going to get better and better throughout the week as more people arrive in town."

The festival's main events are the snowmobile cross-country races for both children and adults, activities almost everyone looks forward to, said VanOverbeek. Children aged six to 12 raced on the second day.

"It was a really great turnout - lots of people watching and cheering on and lots of little kids racing," she said.

To add activities for youth 16 and under, something VanOverbeek said was lacking last year, a skating rink was built next to the racing grounds. She added a hockey skills competition and four-on-four pond hockey will also be featured here.

"While the races are going, they are entertaining but I thought in order to include more community members, if we did a skating rink by the racing grounds, we can do some more skating competitions and open it up for open skate," said VanOverbeek.

Kugluktuk resident Grant Newman said he likes the snowmobile races and participates in the snow drag.

"Those Ski-Doo races are a big draw. We're down on the ice. They usually get quite the big crowd," he said.

He added he watched the children participate in the cross-country race on April 10.

"That was quite a laugh to watch all the kids participate in that," said Newman.

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