Come summer, the Columbia Valley is full of great events and the Village of Canal Flats Canal Days celebration is certainly one of the oldest traditions to experience.
“It’s a celebration of community getting together,” said organizer Lee-Ann Lechman. “The goal is to get people together and just to have some fun.”
Running from May 30 to June 2 this year, many of the popular events from previous years will make their return. Tonight, the Canal Flats talent show hits the stage at 7 p.m., followed by Thursday bingo and the always-fun kids dance on Friday night at the community hall. Saturday kicks off with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. before the popular parade hits the streets at 11 a.m. There will be a silent auction, a raffle, horse rides, free food and ice cream, and highland dancers in and around the hall from noon until 5 p.m. Then, at 9 p.m., singer/songwriter Matt Blais takes to the stage at the Canal Days dance. Blais has received national exposure in the past and has also played internationally, including Australia and Germany.
Lechman said people who have long since moved away from Canal Flats always seem to make a point of coming back for the annual festival, and even the newer members of town know to mark it off on their calendars each year. While admitting to be biased, Lechman said her favourite part of the festival is always the talent show, as she was a previous organizer and frequent contestant.
“I like to see the kids perform, and to see them get over their stage fright,” she said.