Lawrence Lane, the same community that was hit by a severe storm that uprooted many houses in late June, braved another storm this weekend.
While smoke and ash caused various event cancellations throughout the North Okanagan, this community battled on. Their celebrations were not to be stopped. The annual event is known as the Cabin Jam.
“It started out when a few of us were kids and would go from house to house jamming out and playing music, annoying our parents,” said Blain Smith. “Now, it’s become an event that generations enjoy.”
This year, the stage was set up next to the almost-fully reconstructed cabin that, just two months ago, was crushed by a huge tree that fell directly through its roof.
Smith, who organizes the event, is also the owner of this cabin. He said he is sure he would have been killed had he been sleeping at his property on Lawrence Lane the night of the storm. This weekend, he added, marks their eighth official Cabin Jam — the sixth one hosted on Lawrence Lane.
“It’s almost there,” said Smith jokingly, showing off his newly renovated cabin. “At least it’s functional now.”
One would assume that Smith would throw in the towel this year, but days after the storm hit — and before the stump had even been removed from the inside of his newly destroyed cottage — Smith was already ensuring people that this wouldn’t stop them.
So it’s only natural that these cabin jam-goers would not be put out by the smoke. Boats lined the docks and tents and trailers littered both sides of the street around Smith’s cabin.
He said that it started out with just friends and family and slowly became a “come one, come all” event. Neighbours — and even some passersby — feel welcome and slowly wander down and enjoy the festivities. Live music — put on by a couple bands, including the original band that Smith took part in as a kid — is accompanied by a light show at dusk. Several partiers joke that it’s hard to tell what time dusk is this year; the smoke growing increasingly worse.
The party lasts two days, continuing deep into the night. Everyone leaves Sunday with a souvenir in hand. This year, it’s a bandana. While some may be tempted to wrap it around their mouth and protect themselves from the smoke, not one person can be seen taking to this tactic. Music check begins and people begin moseying down to the beach. It’s even gloomier now, signalling dusk. Finally, after a year or waiting and two months of uncertainty after the storm, the music finally begins.
After all, the show must go on.
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