The Lytton River Festival—British Columbia’s best little Labour Day Weekend street festival—has lined up more than 33 acts and events designed to delight and entertain the whole family for this year’s event.
Organizers have added new attractions, including a Dog Show and the renowned AcroFire pyrotechnical performers. This year’s festival will also include many of the most popular events from previous years, including Sunday’s Cultural Day celebrating Indigenous culture.
The Lytton River Festival celebrates the Thompson and Fraser Rivers and showcases the people and cultures of the area. Some 2,500 people are expected to attend the family-friendly festival.
Nonie McCann, the 2018 Lytton River Festival president and event coordinator, says that sharing local and First Nations culture with everyone is the most important feature of the event, which runs from Friday, August 31 to Sunday, September 2.
“Lytton people are very friendly and welcoming, and we are happy to share our amazing home with visitors,” McCann says, adding that the Lytton First Nations is a partner in the event. “We’re celebrating the rivers that come together here. The festival is a meeting of the rivers, and of the people.”
There are multiple First Nations events throughout the weekend, including AcroFire (an Aboriginal circus group), youth hand-drumming, First Nations artists’ displays and workshops, a spoken word event with Nlaka’pamux performer Ecko Aleck, a performance by the vocal group Spiritual Warriors, and a First Nations dramatic performance of “The Council of Spider Fly and Ant”, which features professional actors and local citizens and is produced by renowned actor Kevin Loring’s Savage Society.
Chicken Poop Bingo is one of the signature events of the festival. The vagaries of a fowl’s digestive tract and a game of chance meet in a unique way on a caged bingo board.
Other activities include multiple musicians and street dances on Friday and Saturday evening, featuring six bands; many children’s activities, including face-painting, a climbing wall, a bouncy castle, and a “learn-to-kayak” session in the Lytton pool; and the Two Rivers Farmers’ Market on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
There will be many artists and artisans at the festival, with attendees having an opportunity to try traditional crafts under the guidance of local Knowledge Keepers. Street performers will be on hand, and there will be a Drum Circle and First Nations cultural displays.
Hungry? There will be dinners, street food, a pancake breakfast, and a community potluck dinner on Sunday evening. Head to www.riverfestival.ca for complete times and details of all events.
Lytton, located at the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers, is the oldest continuously settled village in British Columbia.
“Lytton First Nations have been major partners and supporters of the Festival since its beginning,” says McCann. “The Nation’s population comprises about two-thirds of Lytton’s population, and they are key to the success of any ventures in our community. We are so appreciative of their support.”