Barkerville Historic Town & Park is set for July 1 celebrations this Sunday, to commemorate Dominion Day in true Victorian style.
Canada’s first Dominion Day celebration in Barkerville took place in 1868, three years before B.C. joined the dominion in 1871. Barkerville citizens launched their own version of a 21-gun salute: cannons were in short supply, so black powder charges were detonated between stacked anvils, providing a loud and raucous start to Canada’s inaugural birthday party; a full slate of activities followed throughout the day and long into the evening.
Research by local historians suggests that Barkerville began celebrating Dominion Day (now called Canada Day) 11 years before it was officially recognized in 1879.
In 2018, visitors from all around the country, and even across the globe, will gather at Barkerville for a full day of traditional Victorian activities and games for the whole family, including a tug of war, funny face contest, greasy pole climb, egg toss, races and more.
Visitors can also take in the costumed street parade and traditional anvil salute.
Barkerville’s Dominion Day schedule:
11 a.m.: Happy Birthday Canada cake cutting at the Pavilion
12 p.m.: Costumed street parade begins at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church
12:15 p.m. Opening ceremonies for Barkerville’s Dominion Day games
12:20 p.m.: Anvil Salute
12:30-3:45 p.m.: traditional Victorian games and activities
7-11 p.m.: Barkerville will host a complimentary dance, complete with costumed dance-partners, at the House Hotel with special musical guests, the Milburn Mountain Band.
READ MORE: Barkerville opens for the season