Local favourites Jenny and the Gents will be on the Desert Daze stage in August.

Comings and Goings On in Spences Bridge

Get ready for this year’s 10th annual Desert Daze festival, featuring a great line-up of talent

By Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan

I realize June is generally our wettest month, but boy we’ve had some rain. It’s bad for the cherries and the weeds love it, but it’s great to be starting off the fire season with everything damp. It doesn’t feel like a desert right now!

Speaking of deserts (smooth or what?): let’s talk DESERT DAZE! In less than seven weeks our little festival will be celebrating its 10th event! Now, I don’t want to confuse folks, but to be clear: the first festival was in 2010, so this is our 10th festival; in 2020 it will be our 10th anniversary. So next year when you see we’re celebrating our 10th, I’m hoping we don’t hear “I thought that was last year!”

We have an amazing line-up of some of our favourite artists who have all played the festival in past years. Gary Fjellgaard played at our very first festival, and we are thrilled to have him back! Some of you may have had the pleasure of hearing Angela Harris play at UniTea a few weeks ago, and it was a great reminder of how wonderful it will be to have her at Desert Daze again.

We really have something for everyone: roots folk band Willy Blizzard, blues with Trish and the Magic Rooster band, country with Bobby Garcia and Six More Strings, guitar wizard Sean Ashby, and just too many to mention! And for all you dancers out there, we’ve really got you covered: classic rock band Paisley Groove will have you rocking! Back by popular demand (actually, everyone is back by popular demand!), Ritchie and the Fendermen will be finishing off the festival on Saturday night with their old-time rock and roll!

Of course, the festival would not be complete without the locals we love so well. We have John Kidder, Jenny and the Gents, Nadine Davenport, Billananee, Dwayne Rorke, Paulet Rice, and more all agreeing to grace our stage again!

As 2019 happens to be the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, we’re asking folks to dress like it’s 1969, and have asked all the bands to do a cover of a song that was played at Woodstock. We’re also hosting a “Woodstock Jam” on stage on Saturday afternoon, where different artists will lead a Woodstock song while other jam with it!

New to us this year is a sponsorship arrangement with Monte Creek winery. We are very proudly serving Monte Creek wines exclusively. Of course, all the other usual refreshments will be available at the beer garden as well.

Please have a look at our website (www.desertdaze.ca) for details on the schedule, information about the artists, workshops, vendor applications, volunteer sign-up, and pricing.

In other news, we’ve held the last Bingo of the year, as we take a break for the summer. Thanks to the volunteers who have kept the Bingo going over the last year. Thanks, too, to everyone who came out and supported this fun little fundraiser.

Continuing through the summer is our farmers’/flea market. Our special Father’s Day Market was a great success; we sold out of burgers! The first and third Sunday of the month sees Clemes Hall full of crafts, food, baking, secondhand treasures, plants, fruit and veggies, and more. The market is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; if you’d like to book a table please call Terri at (250) 458-2513.


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