Feature Story                                                                                                        Monday, June 3, 2013                      

A Parade with Panache

Weekend festival brings the community together

Staff/Voice photos


Kids toss candy from their parade float to spectators during the 43rd Annual Yarrow Days Saturday.


tís been said that nowhere but in a small town do people know what youíre going to do even before you do it.


So, on Saturday, everyone knew everyone else was going to be parked on a lawn chair lining Yarrow Central for the Yarrow Days parade, and despite a threatening sky, thousands of agog residents showed up bright and early.

Emcee Jim Brenner told the Voice Yarrow Days is a completely volunteer-driven event put on by the Yarrow Ratepayers Association and the Yarrow Volunteer Society.

"This is probably the largest gathering that we put together. There's no fees attached to this. It's just great entertainment," he said. "We have all the local artisans in the area as well; Potters, sculptors and painters and all these other people that come together within the community and show their wares here today, and its just about having fun. It's a great day."

The day kicks-off  with the Yarrow Fitness Fun Run for BC Teen Challenge and their adult recovery programs, followed by a free pancake breakfast from the Yarrow Canadian Reformed Church.

Yarrow is one of those exceedingly rare places where time seems to have stood still, offering glimpses to a storied past with the heritage buildings and some of the most down-to-earth people like Hank "The Barber" Geisbrecht, who you'll find leaning back in his turn-of-the-century barbering chair, or the folks across the street at Yarrow Deli and the Ecovillage.

The two-day festival is a chance for residents to show their town off because its structured around community pride. The main entertainment stage features local entertainers like Jeff Bonner and the Tractorgrease Folk as well as various dance troupes, musicians, artisans and vendors.

Later in the evening, there's also a barbecue and a dance at the hall. The theme this year was multiculturalism.

Lisa Witt got the stage warmed up with the national anthem followed by groups of dancers performing a variety of styles from hip hop to belly dancing. Music teacher Gary Radysh brought his lively Chilliwack Secondary jazz band and steel bands to the park.

"It looks busy today, the park is full, we've got lots of entertainment," said organizer Carol Bell.

"The booths were all rented a month ago, we had run out of booths to rent. People are very good to come out and support us, it's our big festival of the year and everybody looks forward to it."

Bell says any money generated over the weekend goes toward maintenance costs of the Yarrow Community Hall.

See more photos below.

For more information about Yarrow, visit www.yarrowbc.ca and www.yarrowcommunity.com.

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