Winter Trappers festival returns to La Ronge

By Bryan Eneas
February 16, 2017 - 1:38pm

La Ronge is set to host a week and a half of traditional family fun.

The annual Winter Trapper’s Festival is a celebration of winter activities and First Nations culture. It runs from Feb. 17 until 26 and along with the fishing derby and fiddle showcase, the event will see three new additions this year. For the first time, the festival will include a craft sale, a disco on ice event and a traditional hand game tournament.

Kevin Roberts, a festival co-ordinator said the craft fair is more or less an opportunity for people to sell their wares.

“Basically we were thinking if you build it, bake it, cook it, sell it, this is the event for you,” Roberts said. “We’re just trying to give people a space where they can set up, put up their booth, sell their items.”

Booking a table or setting up a display are all free of charge.

The disco on ice is a Canadian twist on a roller-disco.

“It’s a family skate in the rink, but we’ll dim the lights and we’ll have a little laser show with smoke and the disco lights just to get into that fun atmosphere,” he said, adding the event is family friendly.

Traditional hand games will be on display Thursday, Feb. 23. Roberts said the games are popular in Dene country, and further south but have never really taken hold in north-central Saskatchewan.

Hand games are played in teams, with eleven sticks, two marked bones and two un-marked ones. Players hold one of each bone in their hand and the aim is to pick the un-marked bone. If a player choses incorrectly, they have to give-up a stick. The aim is to win all eleven sticks.

Roberts said this will be a trial for the hand games tournament. Depending on the reaction to the tournament, it may be an ongoing event in festivals to come.

Some events require a festival button to enter, and some will also require an admission fee.

 “We say anybody is welcome to use our facility, weather you live in La Ronge, Air Ronge, or off the reserve from somewhere else… we welcome anybody,” Roberts said.


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