Scotiabank helps make Barkerville’s Dominion Day a (one hundred pound) cake walk

Thanks to the generous financial support of the Quesnel branch of Scotiabank, Barkerville’s 146th annual Dominion Day celebrations were filled with fun, frolic, and frosting on Canada Day (July 1st).

Although Canada is in fact 147 years old this year, Barkerville held the first-ever recorded birthday party for the new Dominion 146 years ago – on July 1st, 1868 – as a way of marking the one-year anniversary of Confederation, three full years before British Columbia itself officially became a Province.

At 11:00 am a team of Scotiabank volunteers, led by Quesnel branch Manager Brian Harrison, served pieces of a three foot by eight foot ‘Happy Birthday Canada’ cake, which weighed in at a whopping 100 pounds of delicious Dominion Day dessert.

A parade of Barkerville’s costumed interpretive staff assembled at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church at noon to kick off this year’s festivities with a march up the town’s main street, led by the Quesnel Pipes and Drums and several members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police dressed in time-honoured Red Serge. The parade route terminated at the newly-restored Canadian Claim and Gunn Hydraulic Pit exhibit on Williams Creek for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, before the crowd of nearly 1200 provincial, national, and international visitors headed for Barkerville’s centre clearing for an afternoon filled with traditional Victorian games and races for families and kids of all ages.

The July 1st highlights included the ever-popular children’s Long Jump, Sack Races, a Funny Face contest, Ladies’ Egg in Spoon Race, Nail Pounding, Cracker Eating-Whistle contest, a Greasy Pole Climb, and a games-concluding Tug O’ War that drew close to 100 participants. The Quesnel Fiddlers were also on hand to add some authentic musical underscore to the final flight of the games.

At 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, Newman & Wright’s legendary Theatre Royal entertained the masses with two different musical shows: The Return of La Font & Ward’s Musical Revue, and Campfires & Trails: the Captain Jack Crawford Story.

By dusk, the party had moved inside Barkerville’s House Hotel and continued into the wee hours with more dancing and live music, courtesy of The Milburn Mountain Boys.  A late-night fireworks extravaganza rounded out the evening.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to the Quesnel branch of Scotiabank, Barkerville’s 2014 Dominion Day sponsor, for helping continue our July 1st legacy in such a magnificent fashion,” said James Douglas, Barkerville’s Manager of Visitor Experiences. “Their generous and continued support of our Canada Day activities helped made this event the tremendous success that it was.”

For some exciting images of Barkerville’s 2014 Dominion Day celebrations, please view the photo gallery below.

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