By Korie Marshall

This year is going to be awesome, says Charlotte Abernathy, chair of the Valemountain Days committee, about the festival. “We want it to be really big for the 35th anniversary.”

There was concern last year that Valemountain Days, the village’s big weekend-long summer festival, might not be able to continue, after the lack of volunteers reduced the event to one day in 2013. Some long term members of the organizing Sports Day Committee announced they wouldn’t be continuing, but last fall, 20 people showed up to the Annual General Meeting to get involved and keep the tradition alive.

Marie Birkbeck, secretary for the committee, says they are working hard to make sure the festival has something for everyone, and she is working on a pictorial display of the history of the event. They are looking for pictures, newspaper clippings and memorabilia to “showcase what a great community this is and how we all work together to make our festivals memorable.”

Birkbeck says since many of the members of the committee are relatively new to the community, they are looking for people to dust off their old photo albums and scrap books and share pictures and newspaper clippings of the events, especially from early years.

“We would really like pictures of parades, King and Queen Pageant contestants, and other events that may have taken place during those early years,” says Birkbeck. Please call her at 250.566.0061 if you have any items or information you would be willing to share.

One new event this year to compliment the Friday evening street dance on 5th Avenue is “A Taste of Valemount,” a non-competitive tasting event for local restaurateurs and foodies. It will offer the public the chance to sample one or two food items per vendor. Interested vendors can also contact Birkbeck.

The Saturday morning parade, left out of the line-up last year, is back on the schedule. Birkbeck says they are currently looking for a marshal, but anyone interested in participating should contact either her or Abernathy. The committee hopes some of the categories from previous years, like vintage vehicles, fun transportation, horse, bicycles, novelty and miscellaneous participation.

Other events in the works are the Kids Zone, beer gardens and concession throughout the weekend; a taco stand by the Lions Club; Saturday night dance at the Curling club; Sunday pancake breakfast by the Marina Association; Loggers events on Sunday, with the use of portable bleachers donated by the Canoe Mountain Rodeo Association; and a softball tournament (still looking for teams, contact Jamie Black).

Carmen Byford is in charge of reviving the pageant this year, and another brand new addition to the weekend is the BBQ/Smoker competition, which will run all weekend. Entry into the competition is $125 per team, with prizes up to $1000, and you’ll need to provide your own smoker. Contact Dan (250-566-5070) or Kari Clay (250-566-5373) to register.

Abernathy says Crime Stoppers is bringing a vehicle that will be in the parade, and will be raffled off over the weekend. She says the committee is also looking for more sponsors and is especially hoping to get a sponsor to bring in a rock climbing wall, and more volunteers are always welcome.

Valemountain Days is scheduled for June 13, 14, and 15 this year. Check out the Facebook event page, Valemountain Days 2014 for updates.