Probably the most well known events in the West Chilcotin and Bella Coola Valley are the annual Rodeos.The Bella Coola Rodeo is usually at the same time as the Williams Lake Stampede, the last week of June into the first week of July. The Anahim Lake Stampede in the second week of July. In both, rodeo riders come some distance to compete in the various events. World class rough stock is brought in for the Bull riding and Bronc riding. You'll see some excellent barrel racing and many other top rodeo events. Each Rodeo lasts for several days kicked off by a parade, and community dances in the evening are all part of the fun.
There are also rodeos held at Riske Creek and Redstone so check with locals for dates.
If you would like some really unusual excitement, join us in May for the Annual Water Skipping Event in Anahim Lake. No, we're not talking about skipping rocks. This involves snowmobiles traversing the Dean River from start to finish line without taking a swim. The fastest wins! Of course the biggest challenge is not just making it to the finish line, but doing it without dunking you and your machine in the water! It's great fun and good for a lot of laughs. You will find lots of great pictures and a more complete explanation on how it all works on the Wilderness Adventures Blog at Wilderness Adventure May Week Three. (Not yet formatted for mobile devices.) The 'cowboy' and the sled called Frankenstein are there and there's all kinds of pictures showing a lot of people getting very wet! The ball hockey tournament is held at the same time and draws Native teams from all over central British Columbia. There's a hot barbeque lunch and a party in the evening after the racers have all dried out around the fire.
Also held in May and on the same river is the Annual Canoe Race that starts at the mouth of the Dean River at Nimpo Lake and ends at Anahim Lake. There are often beaver dams and log jams on the river and high water in early spring so the route is hazardous and few of the racers make it to the other end unscathed. Anyone can participate and there is a dinner and dance afterward at the Anahim Lake Community Hall.
The Annual John Laurans Fishing Derby on Nimpo Lake is held over two days on the long May weekend. There are terrific prizes and it's an ideal venue for children 'cause t's pretty easy to catch fish on Nimpo Lake!
The Artisan Fair Vendor sale and Uptown Garage Sale Eagle Lake Road near Tatla Lake is usually in May from 10 am to 4 pm - it showcases the talented works of local artists and crafts people from all across the Chilcotin and includes a vendor sale and uptown garage sale. Cash prizes, 50/50, Chinese food, hamburgers and dessert table. Come out and support your community, have lunch with friends and maybe take home a few treasures. For additional information, please contact Karen at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Fair is located at The Barn Boutique 5652 Eagle Lake Road Tatla Lake, BC
Bella Coola Valley Farmer's Market is held June 1 - September 30th. Every Sunday locals and visitors head to the Bella Coola Farmers' Market located at the Quonset Hut on Highway 20, 6Kmeast of BellaCoola, from 10 am to 2 pm. It's a chance to mingle with the locals, buy fresh produce, local honey and homemade goodies and get a sampling of the fine arts and crafts available in the Valley.
The Bella Coola Fall Fair and Logger Sports Festival is usually held around the first week of September at the Bella Coola Fair and includes some amazing games and logging competitions.
The Annual Puntzi Lake Fishing Derby is held every July and draws competitors from all around to fish for Kokanee to 2.5 lbs and Rainbow Trout to 2.5 lbs. Adult and children's categories so come join the fun!! Check with accommodations providers at Puntzi Lake for dates and be sure to book ahead as that is a very busy weekend for the resorts and lodges on the lake!
The Bella Coola Music Festival is usually held in mid July and is packed to the max so reserve your accommodations ahead. It is a weekend of multi-culteral music and performing arts held in the beautiful Bella Coola Valley. The festival has headlined International stars and every year promoters strive to showcase up and
coming Canadian artists and local talent as part of their programming. The
Festival has been described as “nothing
short of pure magic.” Don’t miss it!
The Bella Coola Music Festival is a 'Do Not Miss' venue!
The Tatla Lake Fall Fair is usually held in September at the Tatla Lake Community Hall from 10 am - 3 pm. Special Events: Clown & balloons, Surprise Games, Horse buggy rides Petting Zoo & more. Various entry categories with judging by 3 different age groups. Farmers' Market, Vendor Sales and Demonstrations throughout the day.Nimpo Lake features it's Annual New Year's Eve Ice Party in front of the boat launch on Nimpo Lake. It's got trees decorated with Christmas lights, bonfires, Swiss Candles, refreshments, a skating rink, and often a curling rink where large poplar log disks with handles are used as rocks. There's always a large ice bar, usually with some pretty fancy carved ice slides on the bar for the hardy stuff.The Nimpo Lake General Store holds fireworks earlier in the evening for children and again at midnight to ring in the New Year. Entry is free and everyone is welcome but be sure to dress warmly!
Many of the local communities have spring and fall and/or Christmas fairs showcasing local craft, quilting, home canning and specialties such as jerkies and sausage. Check with your accommdation provider to find out what's happening in your region while you are visiting.
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