Unsung Festivals by Jim Harrington
Title: Contra Costa Times, San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribue Sunday
Publication Type: Daily Newspaper
DAWSON CITY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Where: Dawson City, Yukon, Canada
When: July 20-22
Details: www.dcmf.com, www. travelyukon.com
The skinny: Dawson City is one of the most magical places on Earth. It's a living, breathing piece of history, a thriving community of 1,800 at what feels like (and pretty much is) the top of the world. Any excuse to visit this still-operational Gold Rush town, where miners venture in from the fields on weekends to drink, gamble and watch cancan girls, is a good one. Music fans, however, should definitely plan to visit during this three-day festival, which spotlights rock, pop, blues, world beat and other genres. The bill, however, isn't the big selling point — it's the experience.
There's just something so amazing about watching musicians perform under the midnight sun in the midst of a seemingly endless forest. Tickets: Weekend passes, which cost $126 plus fees, have sold out for 31 consecutive years, so order early. (They went on sale March 26.) Where to stay: Hotels fill up quickly for the festival, so book soon if you want to attend.
Try the Westmark Inn (Fifth Avenue and Harper Street; 867-993-5542; www. westmarkhotels.com) or the El Dorado Hotel (902 Third Ave. 867-993-5451 www.eldoradohotel.ca). Also, since the festival is during the summer — when the sun rarely sets — you might consider checking to make sure that the hotel has "blackout" curtains.
Where to eat: Dawson is set on the mighty Yukon River, so order salmon or another "catch of the day" for dinner. You'll do just fine at Sourdough Joe's (Front and Princess streets; 867-993-6590) or La Table on Fifth (Fifth Avenue and Harper Street; 867-993- 6860).
Attractions: From fishing to camping to canoeing, Dawson City is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It's an excellent jumping-off point for exploring the grand Yukon (see www.travelyukon.com for ideas).