Crowds at Barkerville’s 2017 Christmas event. Karen Powell/Observer file photo

Crowds at Barkerville’s 2017 Christmas event. Karen Powell/Observer file photo

Barkerville’s Old Fashioned Victorian Christmas takes place Dec. 8-10

‘It is like stepping into Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but with a slightly western feel’

Lindsay Chung

Observer Contributor

Walk through the gates of Barkerville Historic Town and Park this weekend, and you’ll find yourself in a real winter wonderland as the town celebrates an Old Fashioned Victorian Christmas.

Many merchants are open and activities are planned for the Old Fashioned Victorian Christmas, which takes place this Saturday to Monday, Dec. 8-10. Barkerville is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and admission is by monetary donation or a donation of non-perishable food bank items.

“The thing about coming to Barkerville for the Victorian Christmas, it is like stepping into Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but with a slightly western feel,” says James Douglas, Barkerville’s public programming and global media development lead. “It’s a true, authentic, immersive Victorian experience – it just happens to be a Victorian village that’s nestled amongst these snow-filled trees.

“It’s a beautiful experience just to come and walk around the site at that time. But there’s a lot of cool things that happen.”

Throughout the weekend, there will be a miniature display in the Visitor’s Reception Centre, and many merchants will be open, including Goldfield Bakery, Mason and Daly General Merchants, C. Strouss and Company Dry Goods, McMahon’s Confectionery, The Kelly House, St. George Hotel, Cameron and Ames Blacksmith, A. McPherson Watchmaker and Jeweller and The King House.

Each day between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., visitors can have their photo taken with Father Christmas and taste home baking in the Wendle House. There will be a history-filled guided tour along the main street each day at 11 a.m.

“We have sleigh rides though the Barnard’s Express coach, and we have on Saturday and Sunday two performances each day by different choirs from Quesnel,” says Douglas. “I also do on all three days a one-man dramatic reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Methodist Church, which is always really fun to do.”

The dramatic readings take place at 1 p.m. at the Methodist Church, and admission is a suggested donation of $5 per person.

The Q City Singers will perform at the Methodist Church Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., while the Aka Bella Singers, an a capella female choir, will perform Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Methodist Church.

“That’s always really popular,” says Douglas. “We’ve had to increase it because so many people wanted to come last year; we only had one concert each day, but now we are doing two to ensure that as many people as possible get to see that.”

Douglas is looking forward to a few new activities this year.

“One is that our Father Christmas photographs, which have traditionally been in a variety of places all around Barkerville. [This year,] Louis A. Blanc Photographic Gallery, the photography studio in Barkerville, is taking on the photography sessions for our Father Christmas,” he says. “So it will be something unlike anywhere else. There will be costumes available, people can dress up in Victorian yuletide costumes and get their photo taken with a very authentic-looking Father Christmas with a really great backdrop. It’s going to be amazing.”

As well, the Goldfield Bakery is offering workshops for “all sorts of things made out of gingerbread,” such as gingerbread men, houses and trees, says Douglas.

The Old Fashioned Victorian Christmas weekend also marks the tentative opening date of the Shamrock Tube Run at Barkerville, although this will depend on snowfall.

“Provided there will be enough snow – we will know by Thursday – we are hoping to open the Shamrock Tube Run,” says Douglas. “It was looking as though there would be enough [snow], and there still might be.”

The Shamrock Tube Run offers conveyor lift access to two tube runs and more than 400 feet of snow sliding. Included in your lift pass is a bonfire, snow tubes and helmet rentals.

Limited helmet sizes are available. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own helmets. No child is permitted to tube or skate without a helmet without the consent of their legal guardian.

Kids of all ages and abilities can safely enjoy the Tube Run, but children under 42 inches or 107 centimetres in height may only go down the Tube Run on the lap of an adult. Under-height children must also be accompanied up the conveyor by an adult.

In the winter, the Shamrock Tube Run is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Barkerville Café and Gift Store is open Friday to Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Pavilion Ice Rink is open Friday to Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. From Friday to Monday during opening hours, there are also ice skates and snowshoes for adults and children and kick sleds available for rent.

Shamrock Tube Run lift passes are $16 for adults, $14 for youth aged six to 18 and free for children younger than six, who must be accompanied by a paid adult.

For more information, visit barkerville.ca.

With files from Melanie Law

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The wind has been gusting Friday, March 5 in Williams Lake with the risk of a thunderstorm in the forecast for later in the afternoon. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
More than 500 customers in Cariboo without power, risk of thunderstorm Friday afternoon

The BC Hydro map is adding more power outages as the afternoon unfolds

The two suspects arrested south of 150 Mile House Tuesday, March 2, following a high-speed chase with the RCMP have been charged. (Will Roberts photo)
High-speed chase suspects charged, remain in custody after arrest south of Williams Lake

John Craig and Maggie M. Higgott appeared in Williams Lake Provincial Court March 4

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Many members of the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club (pictured) have teamed up with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society to host a free ski in celebration of World Water Day. (Patrick Davies photo - Black Press Media)
Conservation society, cross country ski club, celebrate World Water Day with free ski March 6

The free ski will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 6 at Bull Mountain

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read