Dawson City social media contest hopes to make up for the “Sour Toe Swallow”

By now, I’m hoping you’ve heard about the famous Sour Toe swallow up in Dawson City.

toeFor years, they’ve had a grizzled, green, gross-looking preserved toe on display at the Downtown Hotel. Brave souls (I did it) take a drink of pop or whiskey or what have you with the digit floating inside in what’s called the Sour Toe Cocktail. If the toe touches your lips when you drink, you get to join the Sour Toe club and you get your name on a certificate. Mine is not proudly displayed on my mantle but I have it somewhere.

They’ve had what they thought was a mock $500 penalty for anyone who swallowed the toe. Because, I mean, it’s one thing to let it touch your lips and another thing to let the thing slide down your throat.

Alas, someone in Dawson City a week or so ago marched into the hotel, slapped down $500 and drank the drink and swallowed the city’s famous toe, then promptly walked out.

Gross beyond belief. But there you go.

So now what to do? Apparently the hotel has a spare toe they can use for a while, but it’s not clear how long it will last and, no, you probably don’t want to know any more about it than that. With that in mind, the hotel has announced a social media contest.1148899_662326317128420_1908596790_n

Fans are invited to post a photo of their toes on Travel Yukon’s Facebook wall. The pics will then be posted to the “Sourtoe Wall of Feet” and five contestants will be chosen by a panel of Yukon sourdoughs. They’ll then be asked to explain why they should be chosen to take their toe (still attached; nobody is asking for you to have a chainsaw handy) to experience the town and try the Sour Toe cocktail in person.
The winner will be flown to Dawson City from anywhere in the world Air Canada flies.

Clever idea.

They’re not asking for actual toes to be sent in, although the hotel apparently has had offers. Instead, try dressing up your toe a little (they’ll thank you for it later) and send in the photo to facebook.com/travelyukon, like this person did with the cute sombrero!


Air Canada today launched its first flight from Calgary to Red Deer. Over at WestJet, they announced new, daily non-stop flights from Calgary to Brandon, Manitoba…

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Robert MacDiarmid 10 September 2016, 2:06 pm

    I read your article on the Yukon. Outside of the sourtoe drink I found the rest intriguing. My wife and I would like to visit. We are 70 & 75 years of age respectively. What I have seen about the Yukon is that it caters to the hiker/biker class. Is there anything for our age group? When would be the best time,during the summer months, to visit. Thank You. I remain. Robert MacDiarmid.

    • jimbyers 25 September 2016, 3:49 pm

      SOrry I missed this, Robert. July is probably best. There’s a good deal to see that’s for folks in their 70’s for sure. Dawson City is easy to get around and quite compact and fun. Jack London’s cabin isn’t hard to navigate and there’s a lovely boat ride you can take on the river. There are easy walking tours, as well. Whitehorse has a small downtown with good food, museums and cultural centres. And you can probably arrange a boat ride on the river there, too. It’s definitely doable for any age group. Cheers. So sorry for the late response!

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