Salmon Fest 2016

We came. We saw. We consumed salmon.

Last Wednesday evening, Dan, Oliver, and I sauntered down to the docks to join in on the Salmon Fest opening ceremony celebrations. The night kicked off with a community-wide parade, where we got a chance to see Rigolet’s creativity shine. People decorated their cars, trucks, ATVs, and bikes into floats, dressed up in some outrageous costumes, and drove all around town honking and waving at each other. There weren’t very many spectators at the parade because nearly everyone in town participated in it.

Oliver and I were “lured” into tagging along in the parade. Not having brought any costumes, Dan suggested we fashion some fish hooks out of tinfoil. We then hopped on the back of Charlie’s pickup truck and followed the parade procession around town.

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Needless to say, we did not win the costume contest.

The next few days consisted of a series of contests, games, music, square dancing, and an exceptional rendition of “The Price Is Right.”

On Saturday, the last day of the festival, we spent the entire day outside in the wind, rain, and cold, participating in some more games and contests down by the docks. Any place else, these weather conditions would likely deter people from coming out and participating. But Rigolet is not just any place. Everyone was in such joyful spirits and kept feeding off each others’ energy. Our team also had a little booth set up in between some of the games to share some updates on our project, and most importantly, to socialise.

Around midday, Dan, Oliver, and I joined up with our friend Kevin for the “Battle of the Brains.” We initially called our team “The Polar Peeps,” but we quickly decided to change it to “Team Kevin” as Kevin essentially carried the team. All of the categories were specific to Rigolet and the surrounding region, with one category entirely in Inuttitut – you can probably guess how much help we Southerners were. However, when asked how his team was doing, Kevin politely responded: “…they’re learning lots.”

I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with Kevin and Marilyn’s daughter Ella, and we bonded over our inexplicable love for narwhals and unicorns.

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Ella’s beautiful work of art

The joy and enthusiasm we’ve all witnessed and experienced over the past few days is truly a testament to the unfaltering community spirit here in Rigolet. Everyone pulled together to make this year’s Salmon Fest a resounding success, and I am so grateful to have been able to share in the celebrations.

I knew the salmon would be good. What I didn’t know is that the even the best salmon can taste that much better when eaten alongside the best people, in the best place.

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