The seventh annual Kootenay Festival will take place at Millennium Park on Saturday.
The festival offers an opportunity to celebrate the region’s arts, culture and heritage.
“We have many diverse cultures throughout the Kootenays and throughout the region and we just wanted an opportunity for everyone to get together and celebrate together,” says Audrey Polovnikoff, recreational and cultural programmer for Castlegar and District Recreation Department.
The festival starts at 10:30 a.m. and wraps up at 7 p.m.
This year’s program includes entertainment, starting with an opening blessing by Métis Elder Gerry Rempel, and leading up to a performance by cover band Completely Creedence. In between, there’ll be dancing, magic and music of many genres.
Kids activities include the Lion’s Penny Carnival for children 12 and under. There will be a variety of games, such as bean bag toss and golf, and tickets will be sold for 50 cents each. The carnival runs from the opening of the festival until 1 p.m.
Special events include the fire truck pull, where the Castlegar Fire Department will raise funds to support Muscular Dystrophy research. That event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“And new this year, the hospice is putting together a beer garden,” explains Polovnikoff.
The beer garden will be open from 2 to 7 p.m. Proceeds will go to the Castlegar Hospice Society.
Kootenay Festival also includes numerous vendors from around the region.
“Some of them are very interactive and will show you how they make their wares,” says Polovnikoff.
If you can, leave your vehicle at home and walk or use the shuttle service. Shuttles, sponsored by Mountain Transport Institute, will begin running at 10:15 a.m., with pick up points at the Station Museum (400 13th Ave.) and Castlegar Recreation Complex (2101 6th Ave.).
The service is free, but a donation to the Castlegar Community Harvest Food Bank is encouraged.
The Hopes &Wishes Floating Lantern Release will mark the end of the festival.
Throughout the day biodegradable lanterns will be sold for $10 at the Castlegar Hospice booth and then at 6:30 p.m. they will be released.
Admission to Kootenay Festival is free, but donations are welcome.
The festival is put on by the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the Castlegar &District Recreation Department, the Castlegar Arts Council and keynote sponsor Trowelex Rentals and Sales.
For a full list of events, visit kootenayfestival.com.