Spallumcheen celebrates 120 years

Spallumcheen council will have an old-time look at its next regular meeting.

To help the township celebrate its 120th birthday (Spallumcheen was founded July 21, 1892), a special kick-off party will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the municipal office July 16.

Council will be dressed in fashion from the 1890s for the party and for its regular meeting at 7 p.m., and encourages Spallumcheen residents to get in on the fun.

“Everyone is invited to attend and encouraged to take part in era-appropriate costume for a best dressed competition,” said Coun. Rachael Ganson, who has been organizing the 120th birthday celebrations.

There will be cake and old-fashioned ice cream, served by Glad Tidings, as well as door prizes.

The official birthday party for the township will be Aug. 12, at O’Keefe Ranch from 12 to 4 p.m.

Some of the activities will include an old-time farmer’s market, toonie corn roast, toy giveaways for the kids, birthday cake, toonie pony rides, O’Keefe mansion tours, tractor-pulled hayrides and a photo booth complete with old-time props for a take-home souvenir from the celebration.

“O’Keefe has so much to discover and such a rich history in Spallumcheen, it only seems natural to want to celebrate there,” said Ganson.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development provided a $75,000 grant to the township to help with the milestone celebrations.

Council has announced it is providing $33,000 to seven different organizations to help with 120th birthday celebrations until the end of the year.

The Armstrong Farmers Market, North Okanagan Junior Academy, Caravan Farm Theatre, Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Arts Society, North Okanagan Ploughing Match Association and Hullcar Hall each receive $5,000, while O’Keefe Ranch will be awarded $3,000.

The Armstrong Farmers Market will have at least 10 Spallumcheen farmers at the birthday party hosting an old-time market.

On the same weekend as the party at O’Keefe, the North Okanagan Ploughing Match Association will host an event. Last year, more than 600 people came out to watch the annual event, which is open and, again, is free to Spall residents.

The association has encouraged Mayor Janice Brown to participate in a ploughing match.

Hullcar Hall, built by volunteers in 1909, will host a pancake breakfast featuring sausage, pancakes and all the works at the old-time price of $1.50.

“The hall will be decked out in an old-time theme, the volunteers will be dressed up, and there will be pictures, scrapbooks and meeting minutes to get a feel for what life was like back then,” said Ganson.

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Arts Society will have a regular showcase exhibit showcasing barns from all over.

In October, the Caravan Farm Theatre will host another popular Halloween evening, open free to Spall residents. There will be a band, a ‘Walk of Terror,’ big bonfire, refreshments and costumes catered towards the 120th birthday theme.

“Not sure if there were any old-fashioned zombies,” joked Ganson.

And the North Okanagan Junior Academy school, which is 102 years old, will host its regular fall festival in October, featuring its incredibly popular Interior Provincial Exhibition food staple, the haystack, as well as a huge silent auction, bake sale and interactive booths.

Ganson added there is also the possibility of the school performing a play based on Spallumcheen’s 120th celebration theme to end the year in December.


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