Come to Desert Daze in Spences Bridge for the music, and stay for the vendors, workshops, contests, food concessions, and more. Photo: Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan.

Comings and Going On in Spences Bridge

Get ready for the ninth annual Desert Daze Festival!

By Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan

Summer is truly upon us, with heat waves and wildfires. As everyone tries to stay cool, the Spences Bridge Community Club doesn’t do much in the summer: except for The Big One!

Yes, Desert Daze 2018 is almost here (August 10–11)! This is our ninth annual festival, which absolutely amazes me. Where have the years gone? The line-up this year is sure to be dynamite yet again. There is such a diversity of styles that there is something for everyone: bluegrass, country, blues, rock, world, folk, and some we can’t even categorize! I urge you to check out the website (, have a listen to some of the amazing artists, and note when they are performing, so as not to miss out.

We’re very excited about the new stage awning. Thanks to director Steve Rice and the TNRD, we’ve been able to purchase a marquee-style tent that replaces the old tarp- and 2X4-style one.

Mr. Bubbles the clown will be there to entertain the kiddies with two half-hour shows, and there are kids’ activities and games in between, including a session with Jessica from Bridging to Literacy.

We’ve got some great vendors booked, who will be selling food, art, jewellery, clothing, and more, so there will be some fun shopping opportunities if you have time. But you might be too busy attending all the free workshops! We have five workshops this year, all on August 11: yoga with Seanna Sampson to ease into Saturday at 11 a.m.; beading with Annette Albert at 1 p.m.; Lahal (Indigenous stick game) with Joe Thomas at 2 p.m.; Brazilian hand drumming with Dave Dumont at 3 p.m.; and salsa-making with Eugenie Moreria at 4 p.m.

Of course the watermelon-seed-spitting and apple bobbing are back by popular demand! The gate opens at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, August 10, and on Saturday the Spences Bridge Volunteer Fire Department hosts a pancake breakfast that starts at 9 a.m., with music resuming at 10:30 a.m. A reminder that it’s cash only at the gate. Hope to see lots of you there!

The Farmers’ Flea Market has gone back to every Sunday (except August 12) in the new location at the old school grounds. The new location is drawing more folks in off the highway, which is great! Come check out all that’s for sale every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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