South Cariboo Farmers Market
By Sheliza Mitha
When you think of BC’s Cariboo-Chilcotin Coast, it’s usually the wide open fields and rugged scenery that come to mind. But summertime in the Cariboo also presents an array of affordable, fun and family-friendly culture-filled events that are sure to make any trip a worthwhile venture and adventure.
The areas around 100 Mile House and the Interlakes, in particular – otherwise called the Interlakes District – in the South Cariboo offer up some ideal summer fun with a heritage fair, craft fair, farmers market and free live music on the lake.
For some dark and fascinating history on this part of the Cariboo, pay a visit to the 108 Heritage Site – a capacious patch of land once roamed by cowboys and gold miners (and about a 10-minute drive north of 100 Mile House).
This outdoor museum is one of the area’s key attractions and boasts several historic buildings dating back to the1800s – including the 108 Hotel, which has a sinister history of grisly killings by hotel owners Agnus and Jim MacVee in the late 1800s. Rumour has it that more than $1,000,000 worth of gold (stolen from visiting and murdered miners) might still be buried within one mile or so of their hotel.
Not to worry, though. These days, it’s plenty safe and family-friendly to visit the 108 Heritage Site and the 108 Hotel – especially for the popular Heritage Market. This weekly event runs Saturdays from 10am to 3pm until the end of August, and offers fresh produce and one-of-a-kind gift ideas to kid- and adult-friendly crafts, books, interesting household items and other unique finds.
About a 10-minute drive south, you’ll find 100 Mile House. This picturesque town in the heart of South Cariboo is home to approximately 2,000 residents – as well as a few notable galleries, including the Stone Bear Gallery.
As the name promises, stone artist Vance Theoret works in alabaster, chlorite, Kissi stone, slate and soapstone to carve and create masterful works of art – though bears seem to be his favourite. Outside of 100 Mile House, Theoret’s works can be found in France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Switzerland and Taiwan.
Walk five minutes south, and you’ll find true Cariboo culture and creativity at the colourful Parkside Art Gallery – a definite must-visit that presents a unique opportunity to meet a few of the local artists who also help run the gallery. Check out the local paintings and other pieces of art throughout the gallery, and browse other hand-crafted items such as jewellery, pottery and woodwork in the gallery’s gift shop.
For some post-browsing sustenance, grab a bite at one of the local haunts around 100 Mile House. Stop by the Red Rock Grill or G.B.R. – which specializes in craft burgers and gourmet poutine. The Firehouse Diner is also a convenient family-friendly joint that serves up classic fare for nearly every appetite and palate – including burgers, sandwiches, pasta dishes, fish & chips and a reliable kid’s menu.
If you can fit it in, make your way to the Loon Bay Resort – home to the eclectic Loon Bay Craft Fair for more than two decades. This summer market is held each Saturday until September 1st from 10am to 3pm, and offers up some remarkable woodwork, jewellery, art and household goods… to name just a few.
The farmers market at the Interlakes Service Centre (in the intersection where Horselake Road meets Highway 24 at Interlakes corner) – about a two-minute drive west from the Loon Bay Resort – is also a worthwhile visit in this part of the Cariboo. This colourful market runs from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays until September 1st, and boasts a variety of fresh, locally-grown produce and other items.
As evening arrives here, however, that’s when the highlight of summer truly begins with Music at the Lakes – a distinct event that showcases the local culture, creativity and talent of this region like no other with free, family-family friendly live music in an impossibly idyllic lakeside setting.
This live music event takes place every Saturday from 6pm to 7:30pm until the end of August at the Interlakes Service Centre. Featuring some notable and up-and-coming musicians from across the region, this free lakeside concert is a true testament to the Cariboo’s diverse local talent and creativity.
As one of the area’s more popular events, try to come a bit early and bring a blanket or some lawn chairs (and some tasty treats) to help you enjoy this outdoor summer festivity. Or stop by one of the nearby establishments to pick up some snacks, drinks, ice cream and water.
Of course, these are just a few of the summer events and things to do in this scenic and picture-perfect part of the province. Click here for a list of events in the South Cariboo or visit South Cariboo Tourism.
Published: July 12, 2018
Sheliza is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys blogging about her family’s adventures throughout British Columbia. For the latest on food and travel, connect with her on Twitter via @shelizawrites or visit her at www.copyprose.com.