The highly anticipated 25th anniversary celebration of Valley Appreciation Day brings a day of family fun and activities to the Invermere downtown core on Saturday (July 21).
“We just want people to come out and have a blast, and enjoy our valley and all it has to offer,” VAD organizer Alita Bentley said.
Starting at 9 a.m., a conglomeration of valley service groups will be serving up a free pancake and sausage breakfast for what Bentley estimates will be easily over 2,000 people. These service groups include the Rotary Club, the Lake Windermere Lions Club and the Kinsmen Club. In the past, breakfast has usually consisted of only pancakes, but this year in honour of the 25th anniversary, the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce has also donated sausages to the event.
“It’s a ton of co-operation, it’s quite amazing,” Bentley said.
Breakfast will run until noon, and while breakfast is being served, crowds can look forward to some live music courtesy of Oso Simple and the Vancouver-based band Merge from 9 to 10:45 a.m. then again from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. respectively.
The first Gagne Family Logging Show is slated to start at 9:30 a.m. with a second show starting at noon, and the Soap Box Cart races will hit the pavement at 11 a.m. for some high-speed action. The whole event takes place on 13th Street in Invermere and will also feature a bouncy castle, kids activities like face painting and Sprinkles the clown making the rounds.
A highlight of the anniversary celebrations will be the much anticipated return of the legendary Invermere town crier, who will regale festival-goers with classical cries of “oyez oyez.” The Invermere farmers’ market will also be in full swing from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. but with a slight change to accommodate the goings-on — it will be set up on the main thoroughfare of Invermere on 7th Street, which means that both 7th and 13th streets will be closed to vehicle traffic for the celebrations, but there will be plenty of parking in and around the downtown core.
“I’m just looking forward to everyone coming out and having a huge celebration of our community and lifestyle here,” Bentley said. “Just seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces as they roam around and have a blast… it’s about seeing everyone have a really good time.”
Bentley is also looking for a few more volunteers to help out during and after the event and asks anyone with an hour or two to spare to contact her at Be Gifted at 250-341-3775.