The Lytton River Festival, which was originally scheduled to take place at the end of August, will be held on Sept. 24–25, in celebration of World Rivers Day and the return of residents to Lytton First Nation following the completion of temporary housing.
The festival was postponed as a safety measure when unexpected — but welcome — construction work shut down water to the area while new temporary homes for people displaced by the 2021 Lytton Creek fire were connected to services.
“We’re super excited to be hosting the festival on these new dates,” says Jessoa Lightfoot, festival president.
“It’s going to be a homecoming of sorts as the community welcomes those residents returning to the area, and we celebrate the people, culture, and history of Lytton’s two great rivers, the Fraser and the Thompson.”
The two-day festival, which is usually held in downtown Lytton, will take place at the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux School off Highway 12, and will feature musicians, live dancing, artisans, children’s events and activities, “make and take” arts and crafts sessions with local knowledge keepers, cultural displays and performances, slahal, games, the famous chicken poop bingo, and a community potluck meal.
“When we were looking for a new date, we saw that Sept. 25 happened to be World Rivers Day,” says Lightfoot. It is a global celebration of rivers around the world involving millions of people in more than 100 countries.
“We saw that date as a perfect synergy. Not only will we be celebrating the rivers that are vital to our community, we will be celebrating the strength and resilience of Lyttonites as we slowly recover from the 2021 fire that destroyed our village and surrounding area.”
All are welcome, but those planning to attend should make sure they have food, water, and accommodation lined up before traveling, as there are limited supplies and accommodations available in the Lytton area.
For more information, including a full schedule of the events on both days, go to the Lytton River Festival Facebook page.