Apricot Fest: Bigger and better

Rick Tippe back for street dance

The second annual Apricot Tsaqwem Festival in Lillooet will see the return of many old favourites as well as some totally new events.

Scheduled for the last weekend of July, the four-day festival kicks off on Thursday, July 23 when former B.C. Rail employees reunite at the Royal Canadian Legion.

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From Friday through Saturday, visitors will have the chance to follow along on the jade tour and powerhouse restoration site tour.

The News office will once again offer face painting and the Elks Hall will host a pancake breakfast as it did last year.

As was the case last year, several events will be appropriately centred on apricots and tsaqwem, or saskatoon berries.

The Lillooet Friendship Centre is hosting a dinner that will make liberal use of both. T'it'q'et is again serving lunch during the festival. A luncheon at Old Mill Plaza is also planned.

And for those who think they can do better, the cook-off is coming back. Contestants are invited to make their best dishes featuring apricot and tsaqwem.

In terms of new developments, the Sturgeon Derby, an annual tradition in its own right, has been moved to July 25 to coincide with the festival.

And in the new-yet-old category, the Lillooet Chamber of Commerce is leading the charge (with a little help from the News), and reviving the beloved camel races of Lillooet Gold Rush Days. (More details are available on page 4.)

The street dance outside of the Legion that proved to be the festival's most popular event last July will return. Once again, country musician Rick Tippe is headlining the show. The street dance will be held Saturday, July 25.

The farmer's market and quilt show and tea are returning as well.

For those who are looking for some exercise to go with their tasty jams (which are made of fruit, anyway, so there probably is no need to get too worked up), both the jade tour and the powerhouse restoration tour are back on the menu.

Not all of the dates have been set in stone yet.

But, one of the organizers, Carol Vanderwolf, said, "We're pulling it together."

And it will be a family-friendly event for all.

"Everyone is welcome, young and old, wheelchairs, walkers. Sandboxes."

For more information about the festival activities and for exact times and dates, call Vanderwolf at 250-256-4437 or 250-256-1547.

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