There’s a buzz around town, as we get ready for the 45th annual Billy Barker Days festival.
There is literally something for everybody at the four-day festival, which kicks off Thursday, July 18.
Thursday morning, the festival starts with a special Ferris wheel ride for seniors at 10 a.m. In honour of Gloria Lazzarin who would ride the Ferris wheel each year at Billy Barker Days, and to celebrate the 45th Annual Festival, the Billy Barker Days Society and Shooting Star Amusements invite seniors to enjoy a free ride on the Ferris wheel between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. before they settle in for Senior’s Day in the Park.
Please note that the midway rides are not open to the public at this time.
From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., it’s Senior’s Day in the Park, and seniors are invited to LeBourdais Park for a free light lunch and beverages and free entertainment.
The Gold Dust Mall, sponsored by the Quesnel Downtown Association, will cover two blocks of Reid Street, starting Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature vendors from all over B.C., who sell a variety of wares.
Thursday is also Crash to Pass day, as the Quesnel Auto Racers host the annual Crash to Pass at 5 p.m. at the Gold Pan Speedway. Time trials are at 5 p.m., and the crashing starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 for ages 13 and up and $10 for ages six to 12 and OAP.
Main-stage entertainment at LeBourdais Park kicks off Thursday night with Mark Perry and Special Guests at 7:30 p.m., followed by Rachelle van Zanten at 8:15 p.m.
Throughout the festival, the Shooting Star Amusements midway will be open Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. or 5 p.m., depending on weather and attendance conditions.
The Gold Dust Mall will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As part of the 45th celebrations, the Billy Barker Days Society has brought the Video Game Party Truck to the park, and it will be open Thursday from 2-8 p.m., Friday from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday from 1-9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Friday is Kids’ Day in the Park, and there will be a variety of crafts, games and stage entertainment from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at LeBourdais Park.
Friday’s main-stage entertainment features two award-winning country singers — Ben Klick at 5 p.m. and Michelle Wright at 7:30 p.m.
There will also be a laser show Friday night at dusk (approximately 10:15 p.m.) in LeBourdais Park.
The fun continues Saturday, with the always-popular Billy Barker Days Parade starting at 10 a.m.
The first annual Billy Barker Days Pickleball Tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday at West Fraser Timber Park.
Classic rock band Harlequin will headline the main-stage entertainment at 7:30 p.m., followed by another laser show at approximately 10:15 p.m.
Sunday’s highlights include a Teddy Bear Picnic/Tooth Booth from 1-3 p.m. in LeBourdais Park and prize draws at 5:45 p.m. on the stage. This year, the Billy Button draw has been expanded to feature five prizes to celebrate the 45th Festival, and anyone who purchases a button will be entered into a draw for a $1,000 gold nugget, a 14K gold pendant valued at $750, a $300 gold nugget, a $200 gold nugget and a $100 gold nugget.
For more information about Billy Barker Days and a full schedule, visit billybarkerdays.ca.