Camaraderie and competition: Sasquatch Days returns to Harrison Hot Springs

Sasquatch shares a moment with a fan as they watch the opening ceremonies. (Adam Louis/Observer)Sasquatch shares a moment with a fan as they watch the opening ceremonies. (Adam Louis/Observer)
The VIP canoe makes a pass along a fairly tranquil Harrison Lake during Sasquatch Days 2022. (Adam Louis/Observer)The VIP canoe makes a pass along a fairly tranquil Harrison Lake during Sasquatch Days 2022. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Hundreds of canoes lined the beaches of Harrison Lake as paddlers await their turns to test their skills in the canoe races. (Adam Louis/Observer)Hundreds of canoes lined the beaches of Harrison Lake as paddlers await their turns to test their skills in the canoe races. (Adam Louis/Observer)
A group of artisans set up along the waterfront during Sasquatch Days 2022. (Adam Louis/Observer)A group of artisans set up along the waterfront during Sasquatch Days 2022. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Paddlers of all ages and skill levels tested themselves on Harrison Lake during this year’s canoe races. (Adam Louis/Observer)Paddlers of all ages and skill levels tested themselves on Harrison Lake during this year’s canoe races. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Paddlers of all ages and skill levels tested themselves on Harrison Lake during this year’s canoe races. (Adam Louis/Observer)Paddlers of all ages and skill levels tested themselves on Harrison Lake during this year’s canoe races. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Paddlers of all ages and skill levels tested themselves on Harrison Lake during this year’s canoe races. (Adam Louis/Observer)Paddlers of all ages and skill levels tested themselves on Harrison Lake during this year’s canoe races. (Adam Louis/Observer)
(Adam Louis/Observer)
(Adam Louis/Observer)(Adam Louis/Observer) (Adam Louis/Observer)
The opening procession of Sasquatch Days walked down Esplanade toward Civic Plaza in Harrison Hot Springs. (Adam Louis/Observer)The opening procession of Sasquatch Days walked down Esplanade toward Civic Plaza in Harrison Hot Springs. (Adam Louis/Observer)
The opening procession of Sasquatch Days walked down Esplanade toward Civic Plaza in Harrison Hot Springs. (Adam Louis/Observer)The opening procession of Sasquatch Days walked down Esplanade toward Civic Plaza in Harrison Hot Springs. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Dancers move to the beat of traditional Sts’ailes songs as Sasquatch Days 2022 begins. (Adam Louis/Observer)Dancers move to the beat of traditional Sts’ailes songs as Sasquatch Days 2022 begins. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Dancers move to the beat of traditional Sts’ailes songs as Sasquatch Days 2022 begins. (Adam Louis/Observer)Dancers move to the beat of traditional Sts’ailes songs as Sasquatch Days 2022 begins. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Chief Ralph Leon speaks during the opening ceremonies of Sasquatch Days 2022. (Adam Louis/Observer)Chief Ralph Leon speaks during the opening ceremonies of Sasquatch Days 2022. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Mayor Leo Facio raises his hands as he concludes his remarks at the opening ceremonies of Sasquatch Days. (Adam Louis/Observer)Mayor Leo Facio raises his hands as he concludes his remarks at the opening ceremonies of Sasquatch Days. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Brad VIs took part in this year’s Sasquatch Days. (Adam Louis/Observer)Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Brad VIs took part in this year’s Sasquatch Days. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon says a few words during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Sasquatch Days. (Adam Louis/Observer)Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon says a few words during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Sasquatch Days. (Adam Louis/Observer)
(Adam Louis/Observer)(Adam Louis/Observer)
(Adam Louis/Observer)(Adam Louis/Observer)
A young dancer wears a traditional Sasquatch mask during the Sasquatch dance that helped kick off the weekend’s festivities. (Adam Louis/Observer)A young dancer wears a traditional Sasquatch mask during the Sasquatch dance that helped kick off the weekend’s festivities. (Adam Louis/Observer)
The colours and artwork on each paddle and canoe was a visual feast. (Adam Louis/Observer)The colours and artwork on each paddle and canoe was a visual feast. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Sasquatch embraces Sts’ailes Chief Ralph Leon during the opening ceremonies of Sasquatch Days on Saturday, June 18. (Adam Louis/Observer)Sasquatch embraces Sts’ailes Chief Ralph Leon during the opening ceremonies of Sasquatch Days on Saturday, June 18. (Adam Louis/Observer)
A team of people carefully move one of the hundreds of canoes to the shores of Harrison Lake on Saturday morning. (Adam Louis/Observer)A team of people carefully move one of the hundreds of canoes to the shores of Harrison Lake on Saturday morning. (Adam Louis/Observer)

There was a sense of reunion in Harrison Hot Springs on Saturday, June 18, as the Sts’ailes First Nation and the village officially opened Sasquatch Days.

The weekend-long celebration welcomed members of the First Nations communities from far and wide as everyone socialized along the coast of Harrison Lake. The lake was lined with hundreds of hand-crafted traditional canoes in anticipation of the popular canoe races, which welcomed paddlers from all skill levels and age categories.

Sts’ailes Chief Ralph Leon welcomed visitors and residents to the ancient village of Qwó:íls, which is known as Harrison Hot Springs today, as family and friends gather for the first time in so long.

“We haven’t been here in a few years and we really welcome you back here,” Leon added.

Harrison Hot Springs Mayor Leo Facio said the village was excited to co-host Sasquatch Days once more. Local MP Brad Vis and MLA Kelli Paddon were also present and spoke during the opening ceremonies.

“I can’t think of a better way to bring people together and learn about your culture than your canoe races,” Vis said.

“I’m so grateful to be here,” Paddon said. “Everything about this morning has my heart so full.”


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adam.louis@ ahobserver.com

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