In this world of modern technology where computers, iPads, and cell phones reign, it is nice to know there are still a few places where the old ways are cherished. McBride was one of those places on the last weekend in September as the Arts Council hosted their annual Heritage Festival.
Saturday morning kicked off with a Toast’em Breakfast at the Elks Hall. People could then wander over to the Recreation Center to view the Visual Arts Fair – demonstrations and displays of woodworking, quilting, sewing, trapping, and painting. While there, patrons heard stories from around the Robson Valley, and The Royal Purple served up soup, sandwiches, and dessert to feed your belly while you fed your eyes and mind.
Over at the Gigglin’ Grizzly Pub parking lot, the Robson Valley Back Country Horseman of BC’s demonstrated the way things were in the early 1900’s. You could wander through a working camp tent complete with dinnerware, bed and a wood stove, and watch pack horse and farrier demonstrations. A series of turn of the century ploughs demonstrated what it was like to farm in the Robson Valley in the early 1900s. One local child asked why it took two horses, three different ploughs and two grown-ups to get the land ready: “Can’t they borrow your tractor Daddy?”
Those that still had some energy left closed off the evening with Wishbone Theatre’s “Off the Rails” cabaret at the proposed Library and Museum building on Main Street.
If Saturday did not tire you out too much, events kicked off again on Sunday with a short course on Trapping in the Robson Valley. This was followed by Valley Alphorns. Fiddlesticks and Robson Valley Strings, a multi-media presentation called ‘100 years in McBride,’ and ‘Fashion through the Decades’ at the Recreation Center.
Once again the night closed off with Wishbone Theatre’s ‘Off the Rails’ for those that couldn’t make it to Saturday Nights performance.
McBride achieved the three E’s for the weekend. It was enlightening, educational, and entertaining. It brought people in from near and far all the while show-casing local talents. If there was a doubt before that McBride had fallen prey to the world of high tech – this weekend said loud and clear that while we may use some high tech gadgets, we are proud of our heritage. McBride is 100 years old and every year we honour those that came before us at our Heritage Festival. This last month with thanks to the efforts of The Arts Council and the Heritage Canada Grant – Building Communities through Arts and Culture we have been blessed with a month of activities that have ranged from boat trips on the Fraser, family dances, horse demonstrations , alphorn concerts, cabarets, and many incredible crafts. Not an idle bunch… what a legacy building from our past to an abundant future.
By: Chris Parker