Canadian Thanksgiving is typically Canadian— a bit understated, not a lot of fanfare, hockey instead of football— but in Whistler we certainly have lots to be thankful for so, surprise-surprise—the holiday always comes with one heck of a party.
So kick out the snowjams, here’s the Insider’s list of why you need to get your turkey on up here in the mountains this October 10-13, 2014. Here is…
1. Last Chance to Ride the Village Gondola
After over two decades of service the current Whistler Village Gondola cabins will take their final crank around the bull wheel this weekend. A lot of people have a lot of history in those old cabins so Thanksgiving 2014 will be your last chance for glory before the new gondola cabins go in for winter. (It’s also the last chance for Autumn hiking on Whistler and as the leaves turn it is mighty pretty up there right now).
LEFT: Nic Teichrob photo.
2. The Turkey Sale and Whistler Mountain Ski & Board Swap
It might seem like the entire Village is hosting a sidewalk sale but the official legendary Turkey Sale kicks off at noon Friday October 10, 2014 at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. Literal tons of new top-brand gear will be available at bargain bin prices alongside the best deals on quality used equipment at the yearly gear swap. Insider editor Feet Banks remembers getting his first pair of Salomon Force 9 rear entry ski boots at the 1991 Turkey Sale (and he still rides them every day.)
BONUS AWESOMENESS — starting at 9 AM on Saturday October 11, 2014 Turkey Sale attendees can also purchase an actual frozen turkey for $15 with all proceeds going to the Whistler Food Bank. Get ‘em while supplies last.
3 . iF3 – International Freeski Festival
Nothing says “almost ski season” like a slew of new ski flicks to build the already-increasing stoke levels. iF3 collects multiple films and packages them in three easy shows at the Rainbow Theatre. Lynsey Dyer’s all-womens Pretty Faces is the hot ticket of the weekend but Sean Pettit’s locally shot The Recruitment will surely sell out as well. Sean is also hosting his annual 80’s Rocker Party at Garfinkels on Saturday October 11 and there’s an old-school Hip Hop Party popping off at the Longhorn on Friday night.
4. Cooking Can Be Tedious
Certainly, sitting down to share a meal with the people you love is kind of the whole point of Thanksgiving, but cooking a turkey dinner for 12 can also be stressful enough to ruin the whole thing. Juggling 5-9 courses of autumn dishes while basting an oversized bird in an undersized oven can be as much fun as trying to thread a needle in the shower in the dark while doing a rubiks cube with your feet. Thankfully, plenty of Whistler’s finest eateries are offering Thanksgiving dinners hassle free. Just grab a free Pique Newsmagazinewhen you get to town, find a restaurant and reserve your spot. No stress, no burning the yams, no washing dishes.
5. Chasse Au Tresor
It’s French for Treasure Hunt and on Saturday October 11, 2014 bike teams of 2 or 4 will scour the Whistler Mountain Bike Park for clues while posting photos and completing “tasks”. It’s a downhill treasure hunt that’s all about spending quality time riding with your friends. Thanksgiving weekend marks the final weekend of the bike park for 2014 — your last chance for gravity fed good times. After this it will be all pedal-for-your-pleasure on the local XC trails (which are excellent this time of year, check out the Insider Autumn Biking video).
6. Decorative Gourds Are So Hot Right Now
This is what it’s all about right? Finding the hippest shellacked gourds and fancy looking pumpkins to create that Martha Stewart-esque autumn vibe all throughout your crib? Of course it is, except real Thanksgiving pros don’t use shellac. Grab your real, local, farm-grown gourds at the Whistler Farmers Market, which is open both Saturday and Sunday for Thanksgiving weekend. And if you really want to test your domestic game you’d best be entering the Whistler Waldorf School’s 13th Annual Harvest Soup Contest on Sunday October 12, 2014 at the Market from 11 AM to 2 PM. (or just come sample the competing soups for a $6 donation.) Autumn yo!
7. General Partying and Good Times
Pretty much any weekend in Whistler will provide ample opportunity to have fun and be thankful but Thanksgiving has got that little extra pumpkin in the pie. Whistler Village fires up this weekend with live music performances and family fun (including pumpkin carving stations) while the bars, pubs and clubs throwdown everything from jam sessions to Djs to champagne dance parties late into the evening. Check the entertainment info here.
For all the sales and fun and movies and old school hip hop it’s important to remember to take a moment and reflect on what you are thankful for this year and just how lucky we all are to be able to spend time in the mountains…. Okay, that was good, back to the party. Happy Thanksgiv’r.