People took to the streets to celebrate Nunavut Day by taking part in a parade and checking out the winning entries in a house-decorating contest in Rankin Inlet on July 9.

Jaxon Napayok proudly waves the territorial flag during the Nunavut Day parade in Rankin Inlet on July 9.
Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Rankin Fire Chief Mark Wyatt said everything went as well as could be expected during both events, even though a lot more could have been done to celebrate Nunavut Day in the community under normal circumstances.

He said people were happy with the parade and there were a number of great-looking entries in the home-decorating contest.

“This actually marked the first time (the fire department has) done anything for Nunavut Day, but it didn’t seem like anything else was really happening,” said Wyatt.

“Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Kivalliq Inuit Association normally take charge of what’s going on in the community on Nunavut Day.

“But, this year, everything they were doing was just online, so I’m not sure just how many people may have participated in those events.

“In any event, it was nice to be able to do something for the community and create a little bit of spirit on Nunavut Day. Lots of people seemed to be enthused with it, so we plan on continuing with the house-decorating contest next year and, hopefully, it will get bigger and better.”

Wyatt said it was kind of cool to see a number of kids following the parade who had received their own set of wheels during one of two bike draws held recently in the community.

He said no less than 15 of the department’s complement of 21 took part in the parade.

“The fire department donated the prize money for the home-decorating contest, and there’s not really a lot more we can do to help celebrate Nunavut Day in the community.

“Normally, Agnico Eagle Mines would take a much larger role in the celebration and offer hotdogs to the community, as well as often providing live musical entertainment and numerous cultural activities throughout the day.

“All of that was, of course, shelved this year due to Covid-19.

“We also returned to hosting, once again, our first full community bingo game this past Saturday, July 11, complete with Nevadas and everything – in order to raise money in support of the annual spay-and-neuter clinic.”

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