Until 2015, the city of Yellowknife, capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories, had its own family-run KFC franchise and life was glorious. There was fried chicken at weddings and graduations and all other celebratory occasions. A bush pilot frequently flew buckets of chicken to more remote areas. But then the KFC shut down, and life just wasn’t the same. In the words of the pilot, “it sounds weird, but it made Yellowknife less of a city and more of a small town.” Some Yellowknifers were so desperate for the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices that they trekked to the nearest location in Alberta. That’s a 12-hour drive.
But now KFC is back, baby, and Yellowknifers were ready. The CBC showed up for opening day, where some fried chicken enthusiasts got in line three hours before the store was scheduled to open its doors. As one customer said, what’s three hours when you’ve been waiting six years? (Note: even though it’s May, they’re still wearing down jackets.)
The CBC’s report is, frankly, adorable. I know that sounds patronizing, but it really does one’s heart good to see people taking so much joy in fried chicken. All those completely enthusiastic and unironic “Woooos!” The way they temper their enthusiasm so that they line up politely. The sheer happiness as they take their first bite of KFC after so long.
Congratulations, fried chicken lovers of Yellowknife. May you have many wonderful, crispy days ahead of you.