Recipe for festival success: a large scoop of activities and events; sprinkle in some liquid refreshments. Add a side of kids games. Mix and match over several days. Pour all ingredients on a stack of pancakes, and you have yourself one heck of a weekend. Come sample all that Canal Days has to offer, in a festival recipe cooked up to perfection over the past 58 years.
The inaugural Canal Days was in 1950, and has run every year since, making it quite possibly one of the longest-running events in the Valley. The annual Canal Days runs Wednesday, May 30th until Sunday, June 3rd. One of the coordinators, Karen Flowers, assured the Pioneer that Canal Days is the social event of the year for many village residents and visitors.
“It brings a lot of the community members together. They come out and visit with each other, see people they haven’t seen all winter,” describes Ms. Flowers. “Canal Days is almost here again, and promises lots of fun events for young and old.”
Canal Days kicks off Wednesday, May 30th, with youth bingo at the Canal Flats Community Hall at 6 p.m., for kids aged 8 to 16. For $2, you get two cards and an opportunity to win great prizes. Adult bingo is Thursday, May 31st at 7 p.m.
Friday, June 1st, the committee is launching a lip sync battle. Plans were in the works to run this event last year for the first time but it was cancelled. This year, Ms. Flowers assures, they will run the lip synch battle and see how it goes.
Saturday, June 2nd, be prepared for a full, fun-filled day. Pancake breakfast happens at the community hall the 8 a.m., followed by the parade at 11 a.m. On the first Canal Days parade in 1950, Ms. Flowers shares that the Canal Days queens were escorted through the parade route by horse and buggy.
The Canal Flats Citizen of the Year is announced during Canal Days, a tradition started in 1975. Kootenay ICE will have a tent with a ticket giveaway for two tickets to a regular season home game. A First Nations dance group will also perform on Saturday.
“The list of folks that have received it over the years is very impressive. Nominations are made by the folks of Canal Flats, and voted on by a committee,” explains Ms. Flowers.
Saturday afternoon at the fairgrounds will feature food vendors, a beer garden, kid’s games, bouncy castles, face painting, raffles, horseshoes, baseball, and more. There will be live music with Marty and Eli band, back by popular demand.
The second annual Canal Days Cruise In Car Show runs Saturday, June 2nd as well. The field of cars on display will be at Baillie Grohman Ave. and Arbuckle St. (across from the Family Pantry). Coordinator Sjac Pronk says last year’s launch was successful, with 72 cars on display.
“It was excellent, it went way better than expected,” says Mr. Pronk.
This year, Mr. Pronk reports, they are adding a ‘Burnout Pit’ to the event.
“It’s a concrete pad where they can come and legally spin tires to our heart’s content,” describes Mr. Pronk.
Saturday evening is an adults-only Canal Days dance featuring the Mile High Club band. Tickets are $12.
Sunday, June 3rd is the always-entertaining cardboard duct tape boat races at Tilley Memorial Park, starting at noon.
For more information, call 250-349-5447.