Update: This event has been cancelled.
The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin is once more inviting the community out to the Tourism Discovery Centre to attend the annual City of Williams Lake birthday tea on Monday, March 16.
First started in 1996, this event is put on each year to recognize the ‘birthday’ of Williams Lake, which takes places on March 15 each year. The museum staff will offer tea, coffee, cakes and some light entertainment to those who come out along with a chance to socialize and explore the museum.
This event is something the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin Society director Mary Telfer looks forward to helping to organize each year for Williams Lake. Telfer has been volunteering with the museum for the last 15 years now and said she just enjoys helping out where she can. In recent weeks, she said volunteers and museum staff have been unpacking more artifacts for display to enhance the exhibits the museum provides to better answer the questions of visitors who pass through the TDC.
“A birthday is always important to mark but the City’s birthday is pretty important because it was a long struggle before it finally became a city,” Telfer said. “We are a growing community and that’s why we have the birthday tea, to bring (the City) to everybody’s thoughts.”
Telfer said that this year Williams Lake is turning 91 and, in addition to the usual festivities, they will be bringing back the open mic they did at least year’s tea where attendees were invited to stand up, introduce themselves, tell everyone how long they or their family have been in Williams Lake and share a favourite memory from that time. She’s hoping that Mayor Walt Cobb and MP Todd Doherty will be able to attend and give a speech and that Frank Gleeson, the cowboy poet, will have another poem written for the occasion.
This year the party is being held the day after the birthday, as the TDC is not open on Sundays during winter. The event begins at noon with an appearance by Williams Lake Willy to greet guests with the cake’s cutting scheduled for around 12:30 p.m. Telfer said she encourages anyone who wants to both celebrate Williams Lake’s history and learn about it to come to the museum next Monday and attend the party.
She remarked that in 2029 the City of Williams Lake is going to have to plan a big party to celebrate the Centenary of the community.