In last week’s paper, Kat Chatten of the Cache Creek Visitor Centre urged people to be tourists in their own towns. It’s good advice, particularly this time of year: not only do you find out about all sorts of amazing events and activities going on in the neighbourhood, it gives you something to do when Frank and Carol and the kids make that long-promised visit and you quickly realize they want to see a bit more of the area than the view from your back deck.
How many times have you driven past [insert local attraction here] and thought “Hey, I really should check that out one day” before sailing merrily past it? Well, make this the summer you check it out. Haven’t been in the local museum since you went there on a field trip in Grade seven, on the grounds that “Nothing ever changes in a museum”? Stop by and find out how wrong you are. Have you ever really walked around and enjoyed Reg Conn Park in Clinton, or the Cache Creek Recreational Park, or the Heritage Park in Ashcroft, and seen all that they have to offer? Not only will you have fun, you’ll be able to amaze your guests with your knowledge as you play tour guide.
And now that summer is just around the corner, seasonal events to suit everyone’s tastes are springing up all over; everything from farmers’ markets, fairs, and festivals to music, art, and sporting events. The people who organize and volunteer at all these events would love it if you turned up; and if you bring along visitors, so much the better, as they’ll get a firsthand look at what makes our communities tick. For it’s these things that provide much of the real charm and attraction of our towns: the unique events that don’t happen anywhere else, and which showcase
Between now and the end of summer, there will hardly be a weekend where something special isn’t going on in a local community, from the large to the small. History? The 149th Clinton Ball on May 21 kicks off Heritage Week in that town, culminating in the parade and rodeo the following weekend. Art? Check out the work of the 50 artists coming to Ashcroft for the Plein Air Paint-out May 27 to 29. Sports? Skip’s Run is on June 5, and there’s the kids’ TRYathlon July 16, both in Ashcroft. Classic cars? Graffiti Days heads into Cache Creek June 10 and 11. Local crafts? The award-winning Lytton Two Rivers Farmers’ Market opens on June 3. Music? Desert Daze in Spences Bridge (August 12–13) will have something for every musical taste. Geocaching? This year’s Geocaching event kicks off in Lillooet on September 2 and make its way through the area before ending in Cache Creek on September 5.
This is only a partial list of everything that’s going on, and more events are sure to be added. Keep an eye on Facebook, drop in at your local visitor centre, or check out the bulletin boards around town to see what’s coming up. Be a tourist in your own town this summer; you’ll be amazed by all there is to see and do. And Frank and Carol and the kids will have some wonderful memories to take home with them.