Billy Barker (left) was all smiles at this year’s Santa Extravaganza alongside Jeanette Beauvillier. Barker must be hoping this year’s festival won’t be cancelled due to COVID-19. (Rebecca Dyok photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Billy Barker (left) was all smiles at this year’s Santa Extravaganza alongside Jeanette Beauvillier. Barker must be hoping this year’s festival won’t be cancelled due to COVID-19. (Rebecca Dyok photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Billy Barker Days planned for July 14 – 17

The annual festival in Quesnel was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19

Quesnel’s annual festival is hoping to become a little more “annual” in 2022.

President of the Billy Barker Days Society, Janice McLean, said plans are now underway to book the next edition of the festival, including booking a midway for rides, concessions, and the annual Billy Button fundraiser is in the planning stages as well.

“We’re hoping that everything will be a go, we need to plan that way,” she said.

“It might not be exactly how it’s always been.”

The 2020 edition of the festival was cancelled in April, and the 2021 edition was cancelled in February.

READ MORE: 2021 Billy Barker Days cancelled

The 2022 edition is planned to take place from July 14 – 17, if pandemic restrictions allow.

“One of our biggest concerns right now, is we need more help,” McLean said.

“We need more people to come forward and volunteer and help us put on the festival. It’s a huge four-day event, and it takes a lot of preparation and time, but it’s really fun at the same time.”

McLean added there are around a dozen people who are active members of the society, and many more who volunteer during the festival.

The Billy Barker Days festival received a $39,000 in provincial grant funding in December.

READ MORE: Recovery funding announced for future events in Quesnel and Wells

“Each year the majority of our funding comes from our local community,” McLean said.

“We have very, very generous corporate sponsors who contribute to the festival… we haven’t been around to them for two years.”

The society is spending extra time planning contingencies for public health measures.

“We’re going to be optimistic and we’re going to go forward,” McLean said.

“At this point we’re assuming it’s going to go ahead.”

The Billy Barker Days office is planning to open on May 1. To reach organizers before that, check out the society’s Facebook page or email office@billybarkerdays.ca.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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