“ELVIS” ROCKS THE CROWD at last year’s Wellness Festival

Wellness Festival packed with events

Second annual Ashcroft Wellness Festival features something for everyone, including the return of Elvis

volunteers who have been organizing the second annual Wellness Festival in Ashcroft.

A few changes have been made from last year. Most of the action is taking place in the Heritage Park, where there are public washrooms, and lots of trees for shade. People are asked to bring their own  seating and get ready for a full day-and-a-half of activities, workshops, music, and ParticipACTION events.

Both Saturday and Sunday will start off early with guided hikes. Saturday will feature the Inukshuk Trail on the Mesa, while Sunday will feature the Port Trail from the Mesa towards the Inland Port. Both are moderate hikes with no steep hills, and offer participants an opportunity to see our town from a different perspective.

The Opening Ceremonies will take place at 10:00 am Saturday morning, followed shortly after by the finish of the Kids TRY-athalon and awards. There is a lot of excitement building for the TRY-athalon, and it promises to be even better than last year. Apparently we have made a mark with the kids who do these TRY-athalons, as we have entries coming from further afield this year.

Check out the full back page of today’s Journal to see the schedule of events, times, and information so you can plan to attend as many things as possible. There are two workshops that will require pre-registration: sushi making and African drumming. Both have a fee per person which is basically to cover the cost of materials for the workshop, and registration is limited. Pre-registration can be done at the information booth that will be set up at the Heritage Park.

There will be several other workshops, designed to provide information or cater to specific interests. You can find out more about healthy nutrition, meditation, and tarot reading, or go on a photography walk with Wendy Coomber to find out how to get the best shots out of that camera of yours. See or be seen at the Zumba flash mob and Zumba presentation; have some shiatsu done; or attend the geocaching session and go look for some caches (bring your GPS or phone if coming to this event).

The Kids’ Area will provide many fun things for kids to do, including water activities. Uncle Chris the Clown will perform and be on site for most of Saturday.

A new, fun activity that has been put together for this year is a scavenger hunt. Most of the businesses that are open on Saturdays are excited to be a part of this fun event. It is hoped that family groups will do this together, but you can do it as a team too. Participants will need either a camera or a phone that takes photos, as some of the questions on the hunt will involve taking a photo of something to prove you have found it. Scavenger hunt forms can be picked up at the information booth. The hunt can be started anytime throughout the Saturday, and it finishes at 5:00 pm.  There are three great prizes that have been donated for the winners of the event.

Historic Hat Creek Ranch will be offering stagecoach rides and there will be a bike rodeo for the kids, so encourage your children to bring their bike and let the RCMP show them the rules of the road for riding a bicycle.

There will be a number of food vendors on site, so you will be able to satisfy any hunger pangs. The Farmers’ Market at the north end of Railway Ave. will be open longer on the Saturday of the Festival, and there will be a free bus running from this area to the Heritage Park so people can travel back and forth.

As Saturday begins to head into the evening the excitement will really ramp up. Once again we have Elvis Elite, who is back after a fantastic performance at last year’s festival. With a huge repertoire of songs, terrific costumes, and audience appeal, Steve Elliott could pass as the real Elvis. This will definitely be the highlight of the day, so don’t miss it!

Sunday morning will feature another guided hike, and yoga to start your day off right. Plan to attend the inter-denominational church service, where Elvis Elite will once again perform. This was another highlight of the festival last year. Steve’s singing of Elvis’s gospel songs sends shivers down the spine, and last year there wasn’t a dry eye in the place at times. This is another must attend.

We hope to see everyone downtown to enjoy all that the festival has to offer. See you there!!!

Andrea Walker

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