Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan and Jim Ryan performing at the fourth annual Desert Daze Festival in Spences Bridge

Spences Bridge still buzzing after Desert Daze

Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan looks at what's going on in the Bridge.

Some of us may still be in a daze after the fourth annual Desert Daze Festival in Spences Bridge. What a great weekend of music and community connections!

The weather was sizzling yet again – four years running – but I managed to slip away for a dip in the river a couple of times, which was a much needed reprieve. Also for the fourth year running we had the local Big Horn sheep venturing down to the festival grounds, much to the delight of our visitors who don’t get to see them often.

The tone was set from the start, as the Siska Drummers performed a beautiful welcoming set of traditional drumming and singing of friendship and welcome. This was the tone that was sustained throughout the two days as festival-goers reconnected, all the while dancing, toe tapping, and just enjoying the fantastic music.

Children kept cool in the kiddie park pools and sprinklers (I saw more than one adult take a dunk too!) and there was even a pick-up game of soccer between the RCMP and a few youths – that was very nice to see. There was wonderful art, jewellery, quilts, and delicious local fruits and veggies available from the vendors, and some great food, as well as a beer garden that actually ran out of beer just before closing time Saturday night! (Almost perfect planning – no one wants left over beer. . . .)

Best of all, however, was the music, which in that intimate atmosphere was fabulous! And there was really good music. Miss Quincy and Showdown rocked the place on Friday night, then treated the crowd to an acoustic set on Saturday afternoon; Richie and the Fendermen had folks up dancing to their old-time rock and roll on Friday night; and The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra had the dance floor jumping with a different rockin’ style.

I won’t list all the great musicians here, but boy, we sure have some great local talent from Ashcroft, Merritt, Lytton, and right here in Spences Bridge!

Thanks so much to all our sponsors, volunteers, vendors, musicians, and of course the paying public – thank you for attending! We’d love to see more smiling faces, but preliminary word is that we might just break even this year!

The new Community Club stage worked a treat for the festival; it’s a nice workable size. Now to set it up in the hall! The old stage will have to be taken out. Watch for work bee signs in September.

The pink salmon opening is anticipated to be late August/early September; volunteers are required for surveying anglers. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Jim Ryan at 250-458-2282.

The New Horizons Seniors’ Council meeting will be Tuesday, Aug. 27 at the old school at 10:00 am. We will continue to plan for the year’s activities; watch for posters and flyers for the next event.

The Community Club will be holding its AGM on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at Clemes Hall at 7:00 pm. There will be elections for all executive positions. Please consider getting involved in shaping the work the Club does in the community. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

This first meeting of the year also sets the dates and committees for all the usual events: Halloween, Christmas Bazaar, Ham and Turkey Bingo, New Year’s Dance, and so on. Bring your fresh ideas and energy!

Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan

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