Celebrations in Masset, Skidegate on Saturday

  • Aug. 23, 2013 5:00 a.m.

There will be plenty to do at both ends of the island this Saturday, as Masset and Skidegate are hosting full-day celebrations. In Masset, the annual Harbour Day event starts off with a pancake breakfast at the community hall, followed by an ocean-themed parade through town at 10 am. Main Street will be the centre of activities throughout the day, with kids activities, a farmers’ market and u-pedal rides. There will also be activities at the seaplane spit during the afternoon, including the much-anticipated Seafood Chowder Cook-off. The day winds up with a fish fry dinner at the Legion, and a dance at the fire hall with local band Out of the Blue. In Skidegate, the Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay celebrates its fifth anniversary with day of fun for everyone, starting with a clan parade. Jason Alsop, the centre’s chief executive officer, said people taking part in the parade should gather in the parking lot starting at 11 am, so they can get marching at 11:30 am. “Everyone is invited to participate, whatever your heritage,” he said. “We encourage everyone to come out in their regalia and have a good time.” The afternoon will feature activities for all ages, inside and outside, depending on the weather. Mr. Alsop said they hope to have the canoe out on the water so people have an opportunity to try paddling. Games will include a Haida language spelling bee, Haida bingo, and a special Haida Gwaii-themed Jeopardy contest. Food will be available throughout the day. After dinner, the men’s and women’s dance competitions take place inside the Performing House. Mr. Alsop said these competitions are a highlight of the annual celebration. Everyone is welcome to enter the dance contest, he said, no matter their level of experience, although some competitors have been training. “There are people who are working on it, keeping it top secret,” he said. Mr. Alsop’s personal favourite is the Haida language spelling bee, which he said has been growing in popularity every year. He said there should be some exciting competition this year, as several young people have been spending quite a bit of time working with the elders on their language skills.