During the hottest weekend of the summer, 20 musical acts performed over three days on a double stage at the 3rd Annual Desert Daze Festival in Spences Bridge as vendors, musicians, festival-goers and volunteers braved the intense heat.
The drumming and voices of the Siska Indian Band drummers reverberated throughout the valley to open the festivities.
Under the setting sun, fans of The Boom Booms danced well into Friday night. The Boom Booms, a six-piece latin-fusion-funk-reggae band from East Vancouver, played the festival for the second consecutive year. Their success defined by their charm, good looks, talent, and strong advocacy for the arts and environment.
The resident Bighorn sheep visited the site as a large 11-metre show kite lifted into the skies. Passionate kite-flyer Dale Pattison visited the festival all the way from Smithers. There was just enough wind for lift-off and a show for those passing by on the Trans-Canada highway.
Workshops indoors on both Saturday and Sunday were popular and also a welcome retreat from the forty-degree heat. The drum workshop with Milton Randall and historic rhythm bones workshop with Vancouver-based band Maria in the Shower had participants leaving with toe-tapping rhythms and smiles on their faces. Randall, known to many teachers and young students from the school district, delivered an inspiring hands-on session with djembes (pronounced jem-be) for all to play.
Local talent pooled from Lytton, Ashcroft and Spences Bridge included crowd-favourites Richie and the Fendermen, Flat Busted and Mudville.
The local produce was also a highlight among attendees. The watermelon-seed spitting and apple-bobbing contest saw a number of competitors on Saturday.
The peaches and tomatoes were a hit, particularly with many of the musicians, who left with boxes of fresh produce to help sustain them through the remainder of their busy summer tours.
The festival committee was pleased with the turn-out and were happy to see so many locals supporting the festival. They’re always looking for more volunteers and planning committee members. Keep in touch with Desert Daze on Twitter, Facebook or visit www.desertdaze.ca.
The festival would not have been possible without the financial support of the sponsors, including a Canadian Heritage grant Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage.