Welcoming the spring with old and new traditions in the Creston Valley
blog post by Ilana Cameron
There is so much to get excited about when blossoms start to open and our spring festivals are just around the corner.
In Creston we are lucky to have so much to celebrate – the beauty of orchards in bloom, cows being celebrated as they are let out onto pasture and the internationally recognized diversity of bird life abound in the valley.
There is no better way to get outside, have fun and meet the wonderful people that call Creston home. Here's a sneak peak of what 2019 has in store for us!
When: May 17th-20th
Budget: Free - $40
Where: All over town, parade on Canyon Street on Saturday at 11:00 AM
Highlights: Free concerts, farmers markets, 5k & 10k races and a Kokanee sponsored beer garden!
When I was a little kid I had a great view for Blossom Fest. My parent’s store was on Main Street so as soon as it started we’d run out to see the parade. I still get a thrill when I hear the marching bands, the clip clop of horses hooves, the woo woo of fire engines. I love standing on that street surrounded by so many people. It’s a time when our community comes together and celebrates a large part of what makes our Valley what it is, the fruit industry.
Originally Blossom Fest celebrated the blooming of the apple blossoms, this was our main fruit at the time. Now cherries have taken their place though other fruits make an appearance on fruit stand shelves, nectarines, plums, apricots, peaches, and if you are lucky quince.
The blue sky and Skimmerhorn Mountain Range provide a stunning backdrop for the colourful floats. This early image is courtesy of the Creston Museum Society.
When: May 10th-12th
Budget: $20 - $100 (really depends on how many tours you sign up for)
Where: Meet-up in town. Tours extend throughout the Creston Valley's lakes, rivers and accessible nature paths.
Highlights: Presentation by esteemed ornithologist David Bird (I'm not joking, that's his name), Kayaking / Canoe adventures, photography workshops and hikes in small groups as to not disturb the wildlife.
Every year Bird Fest falls near or on Mother’s Day. I’ve decided to make it a tradition to attend a few bird festival events with my mother. Sometimes a talk that comes with a catered lunch, other years we’ve gone on bird walks with experts. There is such a beautiful variety of activities and topics that almost anyone can find something of interest. Many events sell-out quickly — the night owl walk at the Creston Valley Wildlife Centre for instance — so look at the schedule early and book soon to avoid disappointment.
There's a reason why we have a Swan on our town flag. Our lakes are filled with them. Careful though, they can be aggressive...
Bird Fest Chair and absolutely lovely person Tanna Patterson shared with Juice FM that the festival exists because of her team of Super Women.
"I’ve been really fortunate to find the perfect women to work with. I could not do this festival without the help of these wonderful women.”
When: Check in with the Kootenay Meadows Facebook page for the latest information! Around April/Spring.
Where: Kootenay Meadows 3071 16th Street, Lister-Creston BC
A rare and wonderful treat to see cows being let on grass for the first time since the fall. There are stories that they actually danced the first year but I’ve yet to catch it!
Come for the cows, stay for the cheese samples and free hot chocolate.
Live band. Food trucks. See an organic diary in action.
This is a kid-friendly event with an opportunity to make art too.
The meadow ladies have been cooped up in the barn all winter long and you get to see the joy on their faces as they frolic about. Joy!
Why I keep coming back: For me one of the joys of living in a place like Creston is that we get to celebrate our seasons together as a community in all sorts of different and wonderful ways that connects me to the rhythms of the year and to my neighbours. If I'm taking a vacation or I'm situated out of Creston for a season or two, I make sure I'm back in the Springtime... the most energetic and magical time in the Valley.