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A parade of everything Pemberton

The Pemberton WinterFest celebrates community with Nordic sports, parades, shows, film, books and more



What: Pemberton WinterFest

When: Feb. 8 – 17

Where: Pemberton

Info: pembertonwinterfest.com

The Pemberton WinterFest parade gathers together community spirit to kick off the Pemberton WinterFest celebration on Saturday, Feb. 9 in Pemberton – and the Saturday festivities don’t stop there.

“It’s this one moment where everything starts from there,” said parade organizer France Lamontagne. “It gathers people together. The parade is rich in colour and hopefully history this year. Everyone loves a parade: kids, parents. Everyone always has a smile.”

Celebrating the 150 th anniversary of B.C., this year’s dozen-plus floats focus on a past and present theme.

“People will hopefully be thinking about the pioneer and gold rush years when they are putting together their float,” Lamontagne said.

But this is a Pemberton parade where floats often take a back seat to organizations, groups and businesses preferring human displays on foot or on horse.

A Scottish piper will lead the parade procession starting at Pemberton Secondary School then march toward downtown Pemberton via Main Street. The parade will finish at the Pemberton Legion where a mainstage will host the official opening welcome at 11:30 a.m., followed by family fun and entertainment all afternoon and evening.

“Most people gather on the corners of the main town centre to cheer their friends on,” Lamontagne said.

Spectators will then move onto the Artfollies Unlimited at the Legion, and Arts at the Museum, at the museum grounds. Activities at the museum include meet and greets with the 2010 Mascots Sumi, Quatchi and Miga; hands-on workshops both indoors and outdoors; and balloon buskers.

Artfollies Unlimited keeps the entertainment rolling with live music, a 4H Petting Zoo, performances, and vendors and concessions. Performers include D’Ale and the Pembertunes (who will sing the new Winter Fest theme song called This is Pemberton), The Jocelyn Band and Chicks with Picks.

The Lil’wat nation will also share their culture with performances from The Iswalh (Loon) Dance Group and singing from Norma Dick, Vania Stager, Leroy Joe and Bobby Stager. Festival revellers can also learn more about Pemberton’s neighbouring First Nations community by visiting the artisan display earlier that day on Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Gathering of the Artists Lil’wat Art Display and Sale hosted by the Lil’wat7ul Culture Centre at the Pemberton Community Centre. Chris Wells and Lex Joseph of the Lil’wat will also share tales at the WinterFest Read-o-thon Feb. 14 from 3-8 p.m. at the Mt. Currie Coffee Co.

The WinterFest Street Party keeps the festival rocking on the Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. with live music from The Hairfarmers, and d’Ale and The Coolers at the festival mainstage at the Legion. Dress warm for the outdoor concert with music, beer garden and fire spinners. Admission is $10 for adults and free for children and seniors.

Other festival highlights running from Feb. 8 to 17 in Pemberton include, new this year, the WinterFest Family Nordic Ski Experience Feb. 8 at 3:30 p.m. at Nairn Falls Campground. The whole family is invited to explore the cross-country trails around Nairn Falls led by Spud Valley racers. Classic and skate ski equipment rentals are free.

Sit back as an armchair traveler and check out adventure flicks at the inaugural Pemberton Mountain Film Festival Feb. 11 to 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cooperdome Lodge. Rock climbing, kayaking, skiing and anything else adrenaline or outdoors will entertain. Tickets are $10 for adults. A three-night passport is $25.

Join the rest of the local crazies who plunge into festival spirit with the WinterFest Polar Bear Swim Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. on One Mile Lake. Live music from Pierre Eady will hopefully warm swimmer’s spirits along with hot beverages.

Kids have a night just for them with the WinterFest Pyjama Night Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Pemberton Secondary School. Author Carrie Mac will read from her favourite children’s book with the help of students from Pemberton Secondary School.

The following weekend includes a street hockey tournament, art showcases, community breakfast, teen video dance, and culinary arts dinner and wine pairing.

These are just a few of the many events scheduled to be held during this year’s WinterFest. For a more detailed schedule of events, visit www.pembertonwinterfest.com.