Once an important fur-trading point, The Pas (pronounced paw) is now a commercial center, transportation hub and site of the Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival and World Championship Dog Race (mid-February). During the festival, locals and visitors compete for the titles of King and Queen Trapper. Candidates for the royal court take part in events including log throwing, rat skinning, tea boiling, ice fishing, biscuit baking, moose calling, snowshoeing and flour packing (carrying 400 lb/181 kg sacks of flour down the town's main street). The dog races pit the world's fastest dogsled teams against each other. The warmth of the local people more than compensates for the frigid temperatures.
The Sam Waller Museum is a good reflection of this quirky, charming town. It houses a remarkably entertaining collection from natural and human history assembled by the lay missionary and teacher. Don't miss the dressed fleas from Mexico or the locally born two-headed calf.
Hiking trails and walking tours introduce visitors to the rocky, forested terrain. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, don't miss a visit to Clearwater Lake, one of North America's clearest lakes, ideal for swimming, boating and fishing. Neighboring Opaskwayak Cree Nation stages its annual Indian Days in August and operates the year-round Aseneskak Casino and attached hotel. The Pas is about 360 mi/580 km north of Winnipeg.
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