By Dan Walton

Pioneer Staff

Invermere will be showcasing Valley Appreciation Day this weekend one of the most exciting days of the year in the Columbia Valley.

Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. tomorrow (on Saturday, July 19th), the streets of downtown Invermere will be closed to vehicles to accommodate the 27th annual celebration of the Columbia Valley lifestyle.

Between Lordco and CIBC, and from CIBC to the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena, roads will block traffic, giving pedestrians free reign through the heart of Invermere.

Four local service clubs the Fairmont Lions, Lake Windermere Lions, Invermere Rotary Club, and Kinsmen Club will team up to begin the day delivering a delicious meal, offering a free pancake breakfast to everybody at the celebration.

If you want the pancake breakfast, you should be there right off the bat, said Invermere events co-ordinator Theresa Wood, explaining that over 2,000 guests were served the morning meal last year.

Above Lambert Kipp Pharmacy, the local Freemasons are holding an open house at their headquarters the Invermere Masonic Lodge. Passerbys are invited to meet the local chapter and browse the meeting quarters.

The event correlates with the weekly Invermere Farmers Market, which will see all of the regular vendors shuffle over to 7th Avenue one street east from its regular location. Along 13th Street, another market will be active with vendors not found at the farmers market featuring travelling merchants, non-profit groups, and businesses that cant commit to a full season of the farmers market. Combining the regular merchants with the one-offs, its the largest outdoor market of the year held in the valley. And as always, the sound track for the event will come from the Home Hardware Entertainment Stage, which will feature the Angus McToogle House Band this year.

Young racers will have the chance to speed past their friends in the cart racing event. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the race starts at 10:15 a.m. beside the Home Hardware stage. RONA is supplying the box car-style vehicles, which require a parents push for motion. This is what Invermeres all about, Ms. Wood said.

The district is reminding motorists not to park overnight in the downtown tonight (Friday, July 18th), or the vehicle will likely get towed or (best-case scenario) remain stationary through the event. The district is also reaching out for volunteers anybody looking to help out before, during, or after the event can give the municipal office a call at 250-342-9281.