Heading to Billy Barker Days in Quesnel? For over 40 years, it’s been BC’s largest FREE family festival and a highlight of summer. With music stages, amusement rides, games, pancake breakfast, parade, laser shows, prizes and more, it’s an entire city enchanted by the festival atmosphere.
To get to know Quesnel a bit better, here are a few things you can do while you’re in town for Billy Barker Days (July 19-22, 2018), and beyond:
A bathtub, in a bank? Read the story I wrote for FestivalSeekers featuring some unique Quesnel history »
Where: 705 Carson Ave (next to Billy Barker Days headquarters & the Visitor Centre on Hwy 97)
Features: Learn about the two Gold Rushes in BC and how Quesnel grew as a settlement supply town. From gold to timber, steamboats to the war effort, there are also some great individual stories like the CD Hoy photography exhibit at the
Where: 102 Carson Ave (across from the Riverwalk and the Fraser Footbridge)
Features: Cariboo Keepsakes is a non-profit co-op, run entirely on a volunteer basis by members of the Quesnel Crafter’s Society. It’s also located in the oldest building in town! Located on “Heritage Corner”, the building is the old Hudson’s Bay trading post. Inside, you’ll get a sense of its history while shopping for fabulously hand crafted goods.
Antique Machinery Park
Where: 3055 Dragon Lake Road
Features: Inside and outside, there is really cool stuff to see! Pop into the museum inside then make your way around the grounds. Old buses, motors, vehicles, tractors sit among the tall grass but you’ll see volunteers working away. It’s operated by a volunteer association that is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of machinery that helped to develop the region. In fact 50% of the machinery and vehicles on site are in working order. There’s also a blacksmith shop, check out the Facebook Live I did with Arnold the Blacksmith when I visited.
Ride Up the Fraser River
Where: 1020 River Park Road (Quensel Jetboat Adventures)
Features: Water played a huge role in the Gold Rush days, not to mention the history of Quesnel. Indigenous people who inhabited this north-central area of British Columbia called themselves ‘Uda ukelh’ which means “People who travel by boat on water early in the morning.” From their history to explorers Alexander Mackenzie and Simon Fraser, to the discovery of gold on the Fraser River in 1857. Today you can follow the route sternwheelers took when they shipped prospectors and freight up the river to Prince George. Quensel Jetboat Adventures will get you around MUCH faster though!
If You Go
- Search #ExploreCariboo for more inspiration. Be sure to tag #ExploreCariboo while exploring the region as you could be featured on our social media channels!
- Read about the quirky Gold Rush history in Quesnel and how you can experience it at Billy Barker Days
- Start planning your adventures in the Cariboo region at the Cariboo Regional District website and South Cariboo Tourism Website
- Learn more about Quesnel here
- Start exploring your Cariboo region options with Destination BC
- Learn more about Billy Barker Days