Many local singers took the stage during this year’s Desert Daze Festival in Spences Bridge. Photo: Gary Winslow

Comings and Goings On in Spences Bridge

It was a perfect weekend for Desert Daze, which couldn’t happen without volunteers

By Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan

Summer has again flown by! Looks like we’ll still get some more summer weather though; maybe even through fall? With Desert Daze behind us, we start planning for fall events.

We were very fortunate to have had such perfect weather for Desert Daze. The storm just swirled around us, and other than a few sprinkles we escaped the rain that hit the surrounding areas, nor was it too hot. I’ll take 32° over 42° any day!

Also, we’re so very fortunate to have such amazing musical talent play our little festival. Our local talent shone, and as usual was very much appreciated by the crowd! The “imports” from around B.C. and Alberta did not disappoint; such an eclectic mix of music, and all were fantastic. I’m not sure I can pick a favourite. The cover bands had folks dancing, the singer-songwriters had folks toe-tapping and engaged: all great!

A new addition was the inflatable outdoor movie screen. It was fabulous to have the psychedelic patterns, shots of Woodstock, and shots of our previous festivals, and the live projection was cool; folks seemed to love seeing themselves dancing on the big screen! Thanks to the Spences Bridge Volunteer Association, Gareth Smart, and Jan Schmitz for making it possible.

Although the final count is still being tallied, it looks like we’ll be in the black this year. This is fantastic news, as it means we may be able to upgrade the electrical system to have even more special effects!

Thanks so much to everyone who came out. There’s not much point in putting on a festival without an audience, so thanks very much for supporting Desert Daze, and next year bring a friend or two to help us increase our numbers! And I must thank all our sponsors: NDIT, Heritage Canada, B.C. Arts Council, Teck Highland Valley Copper, Second Time Around, CN, TNRD, Cook’s Ferry Band, ASC Automotive, Dawson Roads, Interior Savings, The Packing House, Community Futures Sun Country, Cariboo Septic, Secret Garden, and The Log Cabin Pub.

A huge thanks to our raffle prize donors as well: Jo Petty, The Inn at Spences Bridge, Grimes Golden B & B, Kumsheen Rafting, Kamloops Heritage Railway, Carol Madden, Fields, Safety Mart (Ashcroft), Save On Foods (Kamloops), Carol Madden, Sea Dog Rentals, NGN Sales, and Dairy Queen. Jo Petty gets a special thank you for the tie-dyed T-shirts; they were a huge hit! Monte Creek winery was a sponsor this year; so nice to have local Kamloops wine at our festival. Thanks Monte Creek!

Thanks also to the Spences Bridge Improvement District and the Spences Bridge Volunteer Fire Department, for the use of the property. I can’t say enough about our incredible planning committee: Illana Fortin, Andrea Bona, Steve and Paulet Rice, Jan Schmitz, Arnie Oram: thank you! There is so much behind the scenes work that these dedicated folks do. I would be remiss not to thank the treasurer who puts in many hours sorting out my mess, so thanks, Jim Ryan! Marilyn Hoskins and Carol Madden get a special thanks for the accommodations they provided at no cost.

Last but not least, a gigantic thank you to the volunteers. It’s not just our own wonderful Spences Bridge folks; how fantastic to have our Ashcroft and Cache Creek neighbours pitch in and dedicate themselves to volunteer at our festival. We couldn’t do it without you all!

In other news, the Spences Bridge Farmers’/Flea Market will continue on the first and third Sundays until October. Come to Clemes Hall on Highway 8 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and see what’s on offer, from produce and nick-knacks to crafts and baking.

The Spences Bridge Community Club AGM is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. at Clemes Hall. This is when we elect a new executive (there are seven positions to be filled). We really need people if the organization is to continue operating, so please consider joining the team and getting involved in events and activities that make Spences Bridge the place where we all want to live!

Check out our Facebook page (Spences Bridge Community Club) and our website, at

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Gaurangi Benner Tapia. Photo: Gary Winslow

Participants at this year’s Desert Daze dance in front of the inflatable screen. Photo: Gary Winslow

Performers at this year’s Desert Daze with Steve Rice (foreground). Photo: Gary Winslow

An audience member gets into the spirit of Desert Daze. Photo: Gary Winslow

A few Bighorn sheep decide to gatecrash. Photo: Gary Winslow

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