The Barge is coming…and it has the beer! June marks the continued tradition of the NWT Mining Heritage Society’s summer party as we reenact the seasonal arrival of Yellowknife’s first supply barge in the 1940s.

The BBQ and entertainment party began in 2009 and we continue to honour what was once the biggest event in town: the annual docking of the beer barge!

Until 1960 when the highway was completed, most freight was handled by barge traffic on Great Slave Lake. Spring breakup and the arrival of the first barge of was a big deal. It carried all the construction material, furniture, luxury items, vehicles, and mining equipment for the town’s needs. But perhaps most importantly, the first barge typically carried the summer’s stock of alcohol!

By mid June, when the barge typically arrived, Yellowknife was a pretty dry town with the stock of beer and spirits having run out during the spring. So the arrival of that first barge – the Beer Barge – was a cause for celebration.

Date: Saturday, June 18, 2016

Time: 4pm to 11pm

Price: $50 regular, $40 senior rate

Where: Old Wardair Dock, across from Wildcat Cafe

The Beer Barge features live entertainment and a free BBQ. Beer/wine is $5 per glass. The evening will include draw prizes, auctions, and a lottery. Witness the arrival of an actual barge and enter your name on the time board with your guess as to the minute the barge will arrive, a true Yellowknife tradition as lotteries in the 1940s were organized to guess the day the barge would arrive here. There will also be prizes for best period costumes.

Live entertainment will include: The Committed!

Tickets available by contacting the society at 873-6078 or Tickets are also on sale through the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre in Yellowknife. We look forward to partying with you!