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Celebrations, Festivals, Events… Plenty of Ways to Party

Normally, the Similkameen is shakin’ with different events that vary as the seasons change, but a certain global pandemic has put a halt to our celebrations… for now. Know that sporting events, music fests, wine accompanied celebrations, and even a salute to Similkameen pepper will return once group gatherings are deemed safe. The bright side though, is that you’re still welcome to come and enjoy all that the Similkameen has to offer. Business will be offering small events check out the Business Directory.

Yes, experiencing the region will be different without community events, but exploring by yourself or with those in your circle will be just as, if not more rewarding. Check out our Attractions to get some inspiration and start planning your visit!

Here’s where you’ll find a snapshot of what’s happening in the Similkameen when events return:

Top 10 Similkameen Events

  1. Multiple Winery-held dinners and events throughout the Summer
  2. Run the Fat Dog 120 or the Ultra520K Canada endurance races
  3. Taste our Valley at the annual harvest celebration of the same name each autumn
  4. Find yourself dancing in the streets at the annual Princeton Traditional Music Festival
  5. Enjoy the warmth of our wineries one weekend each December at the annual Holiday Open Houses
  6. Reconnect with nature each spring at the annual Meadowlark Festival
  7. Tempt your taste buds at the Similkameen Sizzle, a celebration of the Similkameen pepper
  8. Light up the Night at our celebration of winter and annual Santa Claus Parade
  9. Watch bronco bucks and bull riding cowboys show off their skills at the Chopaka or Elks Rodeo, or at Princeton’s Stan Thompson Memorial Rodeo
  10. The Winemakers Dinner, the 1.6 Mile Dinner at Orofino winery, and more! There are plenty of events dedicated to exploring Similkameen wine and food!
Wine tasting at Winery 458, Hugging Tree Winery, Cawston,
Wine tasting, Hugging Tree Winery

Spring Celebrations

You can tell spring is in the air when you can smell the scent of the new blossoms mixed with the musk of bulls and the aroma of freshly kicked up dirt. Spring is rodeo season in the Similkameen. Kicking things off right is the Chopaka Rodeo on Easter, followed by Elk’s Rodeo in Keremeos and Princeton’s Stan Thompson Memorial Rodeo. If the excitement of a rodeo isn’t your thing, slow it down a bit with the Meadowlark Festival. The Meadowlark might not have the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a rodeo but it is a divine celebration of nature and wildlife that is sure to pique your interest. Oh! We can’t forget to mention that spring is the start of the wine season, which is a reason to celebrate unto itself. Sip your way through the valley and be among the first tasters of the Similkameen’s terroir. Winemakers dinners, vertical tastings in a cave, roaming expansive vineyards – a new wine season is always a time to behold.

Concert at the Grist Mill
Concert at The Grist Mill

Summer Food and Festivals

A Similkameen summer, there are few places in this province that can match it. If you’re into fitness, consider participating in the Fat Dog 120, or the Ultra520K Canada for some healthy self-measurement. If you don’t want to race but are still looking to be active, grab your partner and your best two-stepping shoes and check out Princeton’s Traditional Music Fest in August. After grooving to songs and dancing the night away, stick around for the Princeton Agricultural Fair! Out in Keremeos, there is a summer concert series at the Old Grist Mill and Gardens. Bring your blanket and the family for a lovely serenading under the stars on select dates in July and August.

There are always new and special events popping up in the Similkameen, so be sure to check the latest event listings on this page or pop into/call Visitor Centres in Princeton, Hedley and Keremeos for the latest information on our community events.

Good food attracts a crowd
Good food attracts a crowd

Fall Harvest Celebrations

If you haven’t gotten the idea yet, the fall harvest is kind of a big deal around these parts. As such, the locals know how to throw quite the fall celebrations! Some of the staples include getting spicy at the Similkameen Sizzle, a Canadian celebration dedicated to the pepper harvest, the Heritage Harvest Dinner at the Old Grist Mill and Gardens, and the Organic Harvest Moon Festival held at Harker’s Organics and Rustic Roots Winery. While some of the fall harvest events may have had to modify operations to fit safety guidelines or halt them for the time being, the fervor of fall harvest is contagious in the Similkameen. Don’t anticipate these celebrations going too far, keep yourself posted!

Princeton Rodeo
Princeton Rodeo

Winter Holiday Events

Yes, winter does get a little chilly. We don’t necessarily think you should huddle inside, but if you’re not a fan of the cold, make sure you’re getting out to check out the annual Winery Open Houses held each December in concert with the annual Light up the Night parade. Also, we have junior hockey! When fans are allowed back in arenas, ride with the town Princeton as you cheer on the Posse in an adrenaline-inducing night of family fun!