A Sts'ailes dancer performs a Sasquatch dance during last year's Canada Day celebration in Harrison Hot Springs.

Sasquatch Days makes a comeback in Harrison

Unearthing old festival will extend summer tourist season

The story of the Sasquatch has been told for centuries, in many forms. He lives in the stories of the area’s First Nation families, has shown up in news stories as old as the printing press, and is constantly on the minds of many modern-day myth busters — and believers.

The Sasquatch is out there. It’s just a matter of finding him.

Celebration of this elusive creature goes back many years, too. The Sts’ailes First Nation has many traditional songs about the Sasquatch, and he is a very important character in many of their stories.

Now, another Sasquatch tradition is about to be unearthed. Sasquatch Days was most lively in the 1930s, and was a largely cultural event.

Robert Reyerse, executive director of Tourism Harrison, said that resurrecting Sasquatch Days was an easy decision.

Back in the fall of 2011, Tourism Harrison, Sts’ailes and the Harrison Festival Society were in a group discussion, brainstorming ideas.

“It seemed like the perfect event to bring everybody together,” he said.

Sasquatch researchers such as Bill Miller and John Green have regularly held Sasquatch expert talks in the Village plaza each summer, and Green will be a part of the event, being held next weekend.

The festival event will include canoe races, storytelling, a salmon barbecue, an exhibit in Memorial Hall, First Nation games, and even a medicine walk.

The choice to bring the festival back, particularly in June, was a strategic one to continue to boost tourism.

“This is a good time to promote Harrison,” Reyerse said, at the beginning of the summer. “We want to bring people into town earlier in the year.”

One of the biggest issues Harrison businesses face is the slow shoulder season, and Tourism Harrison and other groups are looking at ways to extend the time businesses can prosper.

news@ahobserver.com

 

 

 

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