This weekend I trundled off to the quaint little village of Kaslo to investigate all the fuss I’ve heard about their May Day celebrations. Encouraged by a couple of friends who told me to check it out, I did. My first impressions left me saying “Wow!” For as small as Kaslo is, they sure know how to throw a party, and so they should, locals have been celebrating May Days since 1892. That’s well over one hundred years.
The festivities span from Friday through Monday of the May long weekend. They include events such as the choosing of the May Queen, pancake breakfasts, ball games, carnival games, logger sports, car shows, craft fairs, dances, parades, beer gardens, live music, outdoor movies and, of course, the May Pole dance. It is a festival not to be missed.
Obviously I couldn’t spend the entire four days perusing about, much fun as it would have been, so I chose to go over on the Sunday. Kaslo is about a scenic hour’s drive from Nelson along Kootenay Lake. The weekend weather was fabulous…perfect for a Sunday drive.
Sunday’s events included the Logger Sports, a very typically Canadian event; although I must confess that this was my first time attending such a spectacle. The town was there in full force with testosterone thick and heavy in the air. The fellow sitting next to me, an Acadian who had made his way out west decades ago, gave me a brief run down on each event, then proceeded to show me his tattoos, as he put it, his mid-life crisis a little after mid-life. I’m so sorry I didn’t get a picture.
Enthusiastic crowds cheered each event, but the highlight was the log rolling finale. That was when we got to watch Darren, a Nova Scotian boy as well as the world log rolling champion. I tell you, does that boy ever have fancy footwork and I bet he’s a great dancer too. With him on the log, those other boys couldn’t have avoided getting wet had their life depended on it. I’m including a video clip a little further on of a similar event that took place at Gross Mountain in Vancouver for those of you who are interested (and I actually think it might Darren on the log…apparently he was at that event as well).
After that, I took a walk down the main street to see the vintage cars, everything from a 1924 Model T to an antique hearse from the 40’s or 50’s.
Finally, out of mere curiosity, I ended the afternoon by checking out the Burnout Contest, an “exciting tire spinning burnout” competition. No one seemed to be able to tell me what the actual purpose of this final event was or how one determined who won, but I think it’s nothing more than to see who can burn the most rubber and make the most smoke…definitely an event for the guys. And I must admit, their enthusiasm was contagious, that was until the noxious fumes almost knocked me out. Perhaps that is the same reason why the men were having difficulty articulating more than how “cool” they thought the event was.
Overall it was a fun day full of festivities and I would definitely recommend checking it out if you are ever in the area over the May long weekend.