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Barkerville getting back to business

The Historic Town and Park has extended operating hours, altered public programming beginning July 3
Barkerville Historic town and Park has reopened with modified hours and services along with a 200 visitor occupancy limit as of Friday, July 3. (Angie Mindus - Black Press file photo)

Barkerville Historic Town & Park has announced a change to its daily programming schedule, as the Province of British Columbia officially enters Phase 3 of its COVID-related Restart Plan.

A release form Barkerville states that as of Friday, July 3, its accessible exhibits, revised educational programming, campgrounds, accommodations, and selected shops and eateries will be open daily. The Historic Town will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily with admission tickets available for purchase online or in-person at Barkerville’s Visitor Reception Centre. Barkerville encourages visitors to reserve their admission in advance as walk-up admission cannot be guaranteed due to the site being limited to 200 entrance per day.

“For the continued safety of Barkerville’s staff and guests, entry to the site will be limited to 200 visitors per day, and pre-reserved admission through our website is strongly recommended,” said Jillian Merrick, Barkerville’s Manager of Preservation and Presentation. “On a typical sunny summer weekend in prior years, Barkerville would normally see upwards of 1,000 visitors a day; this is why booking your admission in advance is so important while our 200-visitor limit is in place.”

Once inside the gates, visitors can expect the same high-quality historic presentations, but with a completely different presentation style.

“Our award-winning curatorial displays and public programs will look a little different this season,” said Merrick. “Only those exhibits that can be safely accessed with proper social distancing measures in place will be open, and our team of historical interpreters will be stationed throughout the site in ways that provide entertaining and engaging, short-duration conversations and demonstrations. We’ve had to suspend the large-scale presentations and public events usually designed for bigger crowds,” she added. “We think we will create a very personal and memorable experience.”

Visits to the Barkerville Archives will now be by appointment only, and Barkerville’s extracurricular special event schedule, which normally includes recurring favourites like Dominion Day, Indigenous Celebration, Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, and Cowboy & Drover Jubilee, will remain suspended for the duration of the 2020 summer season due to provincial limitations on allowable mass gatherings.

Barkerville’s renowned Theatre Royal will also remain closed to the public, although livestream broadcasts of musical variety shows from the theatre, as well as a selection of interactive, virtual broadcasts from a number of different stations throughout the park, will be made available via different online platforms including Facebook, Youtube, and Zoom in the upcoming months.

For more information about Barkerville’s virtual broadcast schedule, its Phase 3 operating hours and programming adjustments, or to pre-book admission to the site, individuals can visit, or call 1-888-994-3332.

READ MORE: Barkerville set to re-open in phases

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