Virginia Carnegie and her dog Cheska enjoy the view from her dad’s stagecoach. The stage is by Brown’s Stagecoach Works

First Cariboo Stagecoach and Wagon event held

Clinton rounds up local stagecoaches and wagons as part of their 150/50 celebration this year.

The first Cariboo Stagecoach & Wagon event took place May 25-26 in Clinton as part of the Village’s Heritage Week and 150/50 celebrations.

The streets bustled with visitors and residents as an array of colourful floats, gaily decorated vehicles, entertainers and horses and riders wended their way down Hwy 97 in the Clinton Parade. The weather, which had been threatening to dampen the spirits of the participants, improved, and blue sky and sun carried through May Ball Rodeo weekend.

After the parade the last of the wagons rolled into the Palace Hotel grounds to join the stagecoaches and wagons that had assembled from all over the South Cariboo.

A newly restored heavy freight wagon from the Historic Hat Creek Ranch accompanied the Ranch’s original B.C. Express stagecoach #20 on the exhibition grounds. The coach was a regular visitor to the Clinton and the Palace Hotels in the early days of the Cariboo Road, traveling from Ashcroft to Barkerville and back. The Clinton Emporium attended with a chuckwagon rigged out with all the necessities for a successful roundup.

The Stella family from the Stella Ranch Bale Bed & Breakfast on Pavilion-Clinton Road exhibited their 1903 doctor’s buggy which was in excellent condition. The Huber family of 70 Mile House brought a pony-size covered wagon, and Gravel Creek Hay Rides of Horsefly displayed a big green canvas top hay wagon. Buggies and wagons of all styles and condition were in attendance.

A 35 foot flagpole was erected and a Clinton flag unfurled to honour the occasion. Guitars and song around a campfire brought the fine day to an end.

Organizer Doug Carnegie and family would like to thank everyone who participated and assisted in making this special occasion possible.

The Village of Clinton is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its naming (after Lord Henry Pelham Clinton) and the 50th anniversary of its incorporation this year. For more information on the year’s events, check out www.village.clinton.bc.ca or visit its Facebook and Twitter sites.

Clare Warner

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