What started out as a friendly neighbourhood barbecue in 1967 has ended up being one of the most popular events on Southern Vancouver Island. It has everything from sheep shearing to pie baking contests to hay rides. It’s geared for families and it showcases the rural community of Metchosin.
Metchosin Day, on September 13, will attract thousands to the village.
Mary Gidney, one of the organizers, said about 5,000 people show up, a number which is roughly the size of the population of Metchosin.
“They show up because it’s free and it is a family event,” she said.
Parking is also free and there is space for hundreds of cars right next to the village green.
The day promises fun for all ages. From 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. the village will be inundated with kids, adults, musicians, horses, sheep, pets and everything in between. The day begins with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m.
“Kids bring every pet imaginable, there’s a bike extravaganza, free entertainment. There’s an amazing cross section of talent. The students from Pearson College come in national costumes. We try to stick to Metchosin talent,” said Gidney.
Gidney mentioned a change to the annual lamb roast. It was cancelled earlier due to the extreme fire hazard. She did say there will be a beer garden, which is always kind of fun.
A vintage car show, motorcycle skills demonstrations, events planned by the Metchosin Equestrian Society take place in the riding ring on Happy Valley Road and include gymnastics on horseback.
Photo contests, pie baking and vegetable contests, a space bus and Project Germani, a historical reenactment of the first century BC to the first century AD. Learn about food, crafts, armour and clothing. It’s a jam-packed day with events taking place throughout the village.
“We don’t have rides,” said Gidney. “But we do have 25 cent hayrides and for 50 cents you can sit on a big backhoe.”
If that isn’t enough there is a junior firefighting challenge, vendors galore and even a kick off dance on Friday, Sept. 11 from 7 p.m. to midnight. The Metchosin Community Association is putting on an 80’s themed dance at the community hall. Tickets are $15 and should be purchased in advance at the Metchosin Community House.
Gidney said a child told her it was better than Christmas.
“It’s all about Metchosin,” she said.
For more information go to: metchosinday.ca.