It’s hard to believe there are just two short days to go until the beginning of Billy Barker Days in Quesnel! This will be the 40thedition of this wonderful festival, a Cariboo classic. With live music, a rodeo, a kids’ day, seniors’ day, parade, and fireworks, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.

I’d like to take a moment to thank the Billy Barker Days Society and the countless volunteers who work hard every year to make this festival happen – this festival wouldn’t be possible without them. It also wouldn’t be possible without financial support from our local businesses. Our provincial government is also helping out with a $25,000 grant. This is a great investment in an event that is not only fun for the whole family, but helps make Quesnel a vibrant community and has a positive economic impact.

Much of the action will be taking place at Lebourdais Park. For anyone visiting from out of town, just follow the “Gold Rush Trail”, or Highway 97, and you’ll find Lebourdais Park beside the visitor information centre. There will be live entertainment on stage in the park for all four days of the festival, with many talented artists performing. This includes northern B.C.’s own Aaron Pritchett, who will be taking the stage on Friday, as well as Kenny Shields and Streetheart, performing on Saturday. For a full schedule, and more details about everything happening this weekend, go to

Over at Alex Fraser Park, the 47th Quesnel Rodeo is being held in conjunction with Billy Barker Days, and runs Friday through to Sunday. If you visit the rodeo on Friday, don’t forget to wear pink in support of the fight against breast cancer. For more information on the rodeo, visit


*This column was originally written for, and published by, the Williams Lake Tribune. You can read MLA Coralee Oakes’ column every Tuesday in the Tribune.