It was Billy Barker who back in the late 1800’s struck gold just outside of Quesnel in Barkerville. Still today, his find stands as the largest surface gold discovery on earth and is the reason British Columbia is apart of Canada and not the US?!
You will find all kinds of tributes to Billy Barker in and around the region of Quesnel, which is the gateway to the Barkerville Highway. Come pan for gold this summer and while you are there, check out the big festival in this historic figure’s name - Billy Barker Days
This family-friendly event is full of activities for all ages, including trivia contests, treasure hunts and amateur photo contests. That’s not even including all the events on Kids Day and Seniors Day.
The event ends on Sunday night with a fireworks display.
Schedule of Events
Saturday morning is the parade through town. Bring those lawn chairs and watch as floats, marching bands, classic cars, and dignitaries pass along. Watch out for the “Wet Zone” in front of City Hall.
Sunday night be ready to say OOOOH and AHHHHH! It’s the explosive ending to a perfect party. The evening fireworks will be held at the confluence of the Fraser and Quesnel Rivers.
Various other local associations run events in conjunction with our Festival including:
The Quesnel Downtown Association rents out vendor space along two blocks of downtown to create the Gold Dust Mall – free to walk through and purchase items, with free stage entertainment at one end.
The Quesnel Rodeo is the B.C. amateur rodeo held on Friday evening and Saturday/Sunday afternoons with gate admission ranging from $7 to 12 per person.
The Quesnel Auto Racing Association operates a Crash-to-Pass event on Thursday evenings at their South Quesnel oval as well as stock car racing on Saturdays and Sundays – admission charged.
Most everything is free but tickets or wristbands are needed for the Shooting Star Midway. Buy a wristband to ride at the midway every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the festival. Prices for the wristband: Thursday $30, Friday $35, Saturday $35, Sunday $25.
Tickets are also needed for the Rodeo and Crash-To-Pass event.
Quesnel is home to incredible mountain biking. Pack a bike and enjoy the trails while attending Billy Barker Days.
If you go:
Sure you can go here and visit, but we challenge you to visit and think about moving - rural community leaving puts a whole new spin on life. This website will inspire you to investigate more: https://www.quesnel.ca/our-community/moving-quesnel
For more on the Cariboo region and all the things to experience, search on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram #ExploreCariboo
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