By David F. Rooney
The Railway Days celebration of our railroading heritage was kicked off Thursday with a barbecue, concert and the official ringing of the bell at the Railway Museum Thursday.
“We have a long history and a long association with railways in this country,” said Revelstoke Heritage Railway Society President David Johnson just before he rang the bell that traditionally launches the annual festival.
The festival has a raft of great family activities lined up for your enjoyment.
Here’s a list of what’s going:
Day 2 — Friday, August 12
- The Railway Museum is holding its Last Spike Dinner and Silent Auction at its Rotary Park. Music and stories will be provided by Abe Zacharias of Salmon Arm who spent his railroading career working for the CPR at watch points in Rogers Pass. He has been performing Country & Western for 35 years and should be excellent. The menu for the dinner will consist of herb-marinated chicken breast or lemon dill salmon or New York strip steak plus Thai Noodle Salad and garden and Greek salads, all prepared by the staff of Riverside Landing. The Silent Auction will open for bids at 5 pm and dinner will be served at 6 pm. Tickets are $25 per person. Please call 250-837-6060 to make a reservation.
Other events this day will include:
- Coffee in the Business Car — 10 – 11 am at the Railway Museum
- A Heritage Cemetery Walk — 10 am at Mountain View Cemetery. There is a $5 cost
- Ghost Town Tours — 11 am – 3 pm at Three Valley Gap
- Photo Contest Judging — 1 – 8 pm at the Railway Museum
- The Mid-Summer Affordable Art Fair — Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre — Opening reception runs from 6 – 9 pm
- Join local astronomer Larry Pawlitsky, and night sky photographer Yuichi Takasaka in mountain top stargazing and photography of the Perseids meteor — Mount Revelstoke National park Summit — 9:30 pm – midnight
Day 3 — Saturday, August 13
Up for a spot of adventure? Then join the bus trip down Highway 23S and across the water to the forest near Trout Lake where a 106-year-old logging railway trestle bridge was discovered in 2002. A box lunch will be provided on this trip guided by Greg Brule and Jordy Hunter. You’ll need hiking boots for the 20-minute walk through the forest to the site of the trestle bridge and it would likely be a good idea to bring some bug spray, too. The bus leaves he Railway Museum at 8 am and returns at about 3 pm. Space is limited and there is a $25 per person cost but this will be a terrific adventure! For more information please call 250-837-6060.
While adventurous history buffs are off looking for the Arrow Lakes Logging Co. trestle, the Railway Museum will be hosting Family Day for families with children from 11 am until 3 pm. There will, of course, be games, crafts, music and prizes, as well as a barbecue hosted by Team Gloria, but the young set will have a special treat in store: an amazing railway-themed bouncer from Bounce Hire in Vernon. For more information please call 250-837-6060.
Other activities this day will include:
- Parks Canada’s Celebrate the Summit with Stars, Cars and Guitars — all day, summit of Mount Revelstoke
- Classic Cars at the Summit! — Mount Revelstoke National Park — 10 am – 2 pm
- Flower Show and Garden Sale — Revelstoke Museum & Archives — 11 am – 1 pm
- What Will Still Be Around — a talk by Brian Wilson at the Railway Museum 1 – 1:30 pm
- Street Fest performance by Sister Girl — Grizzly Plaza 6:30 – 9:30 pm
- A Magic Lantern Show — Nickelodeon Museum at 7:30 pm
Day 4 — Sunday, August 14
Why not stroll down to the Railway Museum to see the vintage cars that will be on proud display from 12 pm until 3:30 pm. You can also hear Brian Wilson’s talks about the Digital Realm of Archiving from 1 pm – 1:30 pm, or, if you really need to stretch your legs join the annual Pilgrimage to Eva Lake on Mount Revelstoke before returning to town to catch Broken Down Suitcase in performance at grizzly Plaza at 6:30 pm.
Other events include:
- Pilgrimage to Eva Lake — Meet at the Balsam Lake parking lot on the Summit of Mount Revelstoke National Park — 9 am
- Celebrate the Summit! — Mount Revelstoke National Park — 10 am onwards
- Coffee in the Business Car — Railway Museum, 10 – 11 am
- BC Interior Forestry Museum is open 10 am – 5 pm
- The Photo Contest Winners Announcement — Railway Museum at 2:30 pm
- Toonie Swim for Kids — Aquatic Centre, 4 – 5 pm
In the meantime, here are some photos from the kick off celebration Thursday afternoon: