From the Journal archives, July 9, 1927. The headline was “July 1st Celebration One Big Day”. It has been edited for length.
Unique in the history of Ashcroft was the 1st of July Diamond Jubilee celebration. The weather, which had been threatening at the beginning, and even rained when the children’s procession was lining up, cleared later, and the remainder of the day was very agreeable.
The day began with a procession of school children to the cemetery. The children marched in step bearing flags and other “regalia”. At the cemetery, the recently erected cenotaph to commemorate the pioneers of the district and British Columbia, was unveiled by Mr. Joseph Burr, who has lived in the district since 1864.
At about eleven o’clock a joint service between St. Alban’s and the United church took place in the movie hall. At the close of the service Dominion Government medals were distributed to the school children.
In the afternoon at about one o’clock a parade of decorated cars and trucks and floats began at the postoffice and made its way along the streets for a period of about thirty minutes. The parade was about three blocks long and almost every car owner in Ashcroft as well as some from outside points including Cache Creek and Clinton took part. Prizes were offered for the best decorated truck with children and the best float and the competition was keen. A number of local boys masqueraded as clowns and created much mirth by their antics and clownish stunts.
An old freight wagon said to be the last to move freight from Yale to Cariboo in 1871, and one of the best preserved of the great caravan of covered wagons that saw service on the Cariboo road in early days, took part in the parade.* This wagon, which had not moved on its wheels for thirty years, took its place with pride and dignity among the more modern string of vehicles that made up the procession, and was drawn by a truck in lieu of mules or oxen that were not available.
The parade was followed by children’s street sports, [and a] baseball game followed. In the evening there was a special movie show beginning at 8 o’clock. This was accompanied by community singing. Ice cream was served free to the children during the races and was sold at the movies. A dance from 11 to 2 ended the long day of celebration, the music for which was furnished by the local orchestra. Refreshments were served at the dance.
*The wagon in question is the one now on display in Ashcroft at the east side of the bridge on Highway 97C.