Come home to the Lake

This year’s Christina Lake Homecoming Festival, the fifth, will be held July 11 and 12 although there are a few events earlier in the week.

Christina Lake is ready to welcome you home for their annual Homecoming Summer Festival on July 11 and 12. (From left) Brenda LaCroix

There are many benchmarks in the Kootenays to mark the start of summer: GFI baseball tournament, hot weather, Canada Day and, of course, Christina Lake’s annual Homecoming Summer Festival.

This year’s festival, the fifth, will be held July 11 and 12 although there are a few events earlier in the week.

The homecoming festival began as a way of welcoming home people to the Lake. The idea first came from Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) Area C (Christina Lake) director Grace McGregor.

“She was inspired to start something in our community for the people here—not just the ones that live here, but the ones that call this place home,” said Cindy Alblas, Christina Lake homecoming coordinator, “even all our tourists from Calgary and other far off places that come here every summer. It’s become home for so many people.”

McGregor said she came up with the idea for homecoming because she wanted to have something to welcome everyone back from winter.

“We wanted to open up the lake and say, ‘Here we are again’ and showcase what we have here,” said McGregor.

She drew inspiration for the homecoming event from visiting family in the United States, where homecoming is very popular at schools there. She also found inspiration in the Hagood Hardy song called Homecoming.

“I’ve always like it,” said McGregor. “My kids were involved in university in the States where they had homecoming which brought families and everyone together. That’s what I wanted. I wanted us to celebrate the beginning of summer and the fact that everyone is back here and that’s what makes our community go.”

The theme for this year’s festival is “Community Shines.” The theme song for the homecoming is Come Home to the Lake.

“That song was created right here at the Lake,” said Alblas. “The lyrics really represent our community. ‘From far and wide, from past and present, we all come together to celebrate our community—Christina Lake.’”

Alblas said the homecoming is a great way to kick-off summer and showcase the community.

The festival begins on Friday, July 11 with a wine and cheese social and volunteer appreciation evening hosted by the Christina Gateway Development Association and Welcome Centre in partnership with McGregor.

“We have 30-plus organizations at Christina Lake and we honour and acknowledge them on the Friday evening,” said Alblas. “It’s a great annual event. Grace will be hosting the evening and she’ll be presenting each organization with tokens of appreciation. We’re also going to have a giving tree and a wishing well. It’s going to be a very special evening.”

The main festival day is Saturday with plenty of fun events planned. It all kicks off with a pancake breakfast hosted by the Christina Lake Community Hall Association and it’s by donation.

From 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., there will be a market at the community hall with paintings, wood art, pottery, crafts, jewelry, local produce, wood carving, Boundary Museum historical display, kids games and more.

In addition to arts and crafts, there will be plenty of great musical acts including Juno Shenstone, Jeff Holitzki, Mayanna and Kyra, Damien Alblas, and Amanda Thate at noon with a full concert.

“It’s pretty big,” said Alblas. “She’s bringing her entire band. We have lots of great local acts from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. It’s a full line-up. We also have over 70 vendors and artists coming. It’s huge. It’s our biggest year yet.”

At 5 p.m., the action shifts over to the public beach. A by-donation community barbeque goes from 5 – 7 p.m. hosted by the Christina Lake Fire Department with help from the Christina Lake Auxiliary.

“They help with putting out the salads, which have been supplied by every restaurant at Christina Lake,” said Alblas. “This is the first year it has not been a potluck. It’s just a by-donation community barbecue; come out and support the Christina Lake Fire Fighters Society.”

A family beach party will be held from 7 – 10:30 p.m. with glow volleyball and a glow station.

The grand finale is at 9:30 p.m. with a boat parade on the lake.

Alblas said there are already several boats registered for the parade but there is room for more. People have until July 9 to register their boats for the parade. The parade is open to both motorized and non-motorized boats.

There are performances in the evening as well at the public beach with acts ranging from the Hip Sisters and Rara Avis Dancers to Luminosity and Blackberry Wood, which includes local elementary school students from Christina Lake.

“The music is outside,” said Alblas. “It’s our first time ever. We have a covered stage outside and three huge tents for all the vendors. It’s a great line-up of musicians.”

Just Posted

More help on the way for Lewis Woodpecker

City of Grand Forks plans to help mitigate threats to the woodpeckers’ environment.

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

Castlegar teens rescue man from river

Will Watt and Shay LaFayette helped save a fisherman from the Kootenay River.

Boundary resident rides cross-Canada for ovarian cancer

Joan Thompson’s trip will honour her sister, who passed away from the disease last year

Carfentanil found for first time in Castlegar

Killer opiod found in local illegal drug market

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Vintage bottles, magic cards, a 1969 Playboy: Quirky items found in historic B.C. buildings

Crews set aside some of the funkier pieces emerging from the construction rubble

Most Read