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Celebrating the spring
Luk'eh Carnival includes events for all ages in Nahanni Butte

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, May 9, 2013

The weather may not have felt like spring, but residents of Nahanni Butte didn't let that stop them from celebrating.

NNSL photo/graphic

Qualin Matou, left, Sean Ekotla, Sydney Hope and Garey Ekotla play the fish pond game, one of many activities for youth during the Luk'eh Carnival in Nahanni Butte. - photo courtesy of Sara Gordon

The community held its Luk'eh Carnival between April 26 and 28. Luk'eh means spring in Dene Zhatie.

Participants in the carnival's first events on April 26 had to face a cold north wind and blowing snow. The events included a community barbecue and outdoor activities such as egg toss, a scavenger hunt, egg and spoon races and potato sack races on Friday afternoon. The participants in the games were mostly children as a few adults watched out the windows from the comfort of the gymnasium, said Sara Gordon, who helped run many of the carnival events.

There were more participants for the first of the three tournaments that were incorporated into the carnival. Three mixed teams made up of adults and teenagers competed in the four-on-four floor hockey tournament on Friday night.

"It was pretty funny. It was good," said George Tsetso, who helped run some of the carnival events.

Tsetso's favourite events happened on Saturday evening when the activities were musically themed. Musical chairs was popular with everyone getting up to play. The adults, however, had to be careful not to sit on the little kids when the music stopped, he said.

Tsetso also enjoyed the animal call competition. Residents were challenged to make a variety of calls, including moose, wolf, and geese, amopng others.

"The kids were enjoying the mic," Tsetso said.

The carnival helps to get people out of their winter blues, he said.

"It was nice to see people come out and participate," said Tsetso.

Gordon, a Beaver volunteer at Charles Yohin School, also had a favourite among Saturday evening's activities.

"I really liked the limbo, it was hilarious," she said.

Because both adults and children were playing at the same time many of the younger participants were able to walk right under the bar at the beginning. Some of the participants really got into the limbo spirit and did dance moves as they made their way under the bar.

Other events on Saturday included a pancake breakfast in the morning, indoor activities for youth and a community dance in the evening.

Badminton and archery tournaments

The carnival concluded with badminton and archery tournaments on Sunday. For the archery event, each competitor had to try to hit a foam target with five arrows per round. During each of the three rounds, the competitors were moved farther away from the targets.

Peter Marcellais, who got the only bull's-eye, won the men's division, while Tammy Matou took the women's division and Garey Ekotla won the children's division.

Eight teams competed in the pairs' badminton tournament.

Other volunteers who helped make the carnival possible included Chris Kingsbury, Tammy Matou, Marlene Matou, Cathryn Bertrand and Jeff Planetta.

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