Young participants at last year’s Desert Daze keep cool in the heat.

Something for everyone at Desert Daze

This year's festival line-up in Spences Bridge has music to delight every taste, and lots more beside.

Spences Bridge may seem like a pretty sleepy town, a “blink and you miss it” type of mentality for lots of folks who pass through. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Here in our little town we are gearing up for our SIXTH annual Desert Daze Festival, from August 7‑8. It’s two days of music and workshops, shopping, and fun and games!

The festival is a little scaled down from previous years, but is still jam-packed with music and fun! It kicks off at 2:00 pm Friday with the Siska Drummers, a group of indigenous musicians who will open the festival with a prayer and a welcome song.  The music line-up is the most diverse one ever, with something for everyone! In keeping with our mandate to support local musicians we have two bands from Merritt. One is The Hoo Doos, playing a country-rock mix of covers that will have you dancing. The other played at the fall dance in Spences Bridge last year, and also graced the stage at this summer’s Music in the Park in Ashcroft: Bobby Garcia and Six More Strings are playing on Friday night, and will have you singing along and dancing to their country style.

If country isn’t your thing, then Bluesfoot from Kamloops will rock you! They will round off Friday night with rocking dancing favourites! Bluegrass, anyone? The Honkey-Tonk Dilettantes hail from Vancouver, and this bluegrass trio pluck and harmonize some of the good old tunes. Murfitt and Main, also from Vancouver, have played in this region before, and their country harmonies are not to be missed.

And now for something completely different: Kara-Kata! This 15—yes, 15—piece Afro Beat band is not to be missed. With horns, backup singers, and drums, this is sure to be a lively umping set! Angela Harris will bring some peace to the festival; this award-winning singer songwriter will win your heart with her gentle vocals and poignant lyrics. Also in this vein, and back by popular demand, is Hayley Henderickx from Portland. She’s our only import, and you’ll see why she’s back again: such talent in such a lovely young gal.

And drum roll please: closing the festival Saturday night is George Leach! We’re thrilled to have got George and his amazing blues trio to come here. George Leach is a Juno award winner, and hails from Lillooet; his blues guitar style of playing is amazing and not to be missed!

Of course, our little festival would not be complete without our very talented local musicians: festival favourites such as Spiritus Mundii, Flat Busted, John Kidder, Jennifer Ferguson, Nadine Davenport, and more!

You can find links to many of the musicians’ websites and/or YouTube videos on the Desert Daze website (www.desertdaze.ca) in order have a listen to the treats that are in store.

Vendors and volunteers are also needed for this event; please go to the website for details. Also check out the Facebook page and “like” it!

It’s not all about the music, though; we like to celebrate the bounty that this sun-drenched country provides. There will be watermelon spitting and apple bobbing contests, pickling and tomato canning workshops, and vendors supplying the local produce they grow. You will also find fine jewellery, clothing, crafts, and fantastic food for sale.  There will be a drumming workshop facilitated by Dave Dumont, so bring your djembes, hand drums, rattles, and shakers. Yoga yoga!

We are so happy that the very talented yoga instructor Maya Nadine will be offering a workshop; and if yoga isn’t your thing, there’s a workshop with “Doug the Hug”, the quirky guitarist! We will also be offering an indigenous traditional art workshop,  put on by local Indigenous artist Carolyn Lytton. You’ll walk away with a little piece of art of your own!

This is a family event, and to that end there is a supervised children’s area with sprinklers to run through and games to play. On Saturday there will also be a science experiment workshop for kids. Tickets are only $20 for a weekend pass! For further information please go to the website, or call (250) 458-2282.

Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan

Just Posted

Firefighters battling two blazes on Highway 1 south of Ashcroft

Highway has reopened to single-lane, alternating traffic led by a pilot car so expect delays

Fires on Highway 1, CN mainline keep Ashcroft firefighters busy

Two vehicle fires and a rail fire sparked within an 11-day span

Reports on seniors’ needs, downtown show way forward for Cache Creek

‘I hope they won’t gather dust’ says Cache Creek mayor

Counselling support available for those impacted by wildfires

New, confidential, free service in region designed for families or individuals

Local News Briefs: Come out and rock

Join Rawkn’ Art Camp participants as they show off their accomplishments, and stay for a concert

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read