Barrel races finish strong

Yale and District Historical Society's Fraser Canyon Barrel races know no fear as they traverse the rapids.

Yale and Historical Society's Fraser Canyon Barrel Races make a splash as they were tossed off the observation bridge at Hell's Gate Airtram. All proceeds from participating sponsors were donated to Hope Search and Rescue

Race weekend started out in Memorial Park recently with our Best Bedecked Barrel Bash.

The public voted on barrels in four different categories: Most Likely to Succeed was won by Tri-West Contracting, Least Likely to Succeed was won by Mobil 1, Crowd Pleaser was won by Boston Bar Service and the coveted Best Dressed went to Hope Brewing. On Sunday morning, after a delicious pancake breakfast held at the Ward Tea House in Yale, barrel participants made their way to Hell’s Gate Airtram for the Bobbing Barrel Blast where in three separate heats, barrels were tossed off the observation bridge into the river to begin their race to Yale.

After a race that broke records for the longest time down the river, only two of the 38 barrels in the race made it past Lady Franklin Rock and onto the finish line.

First place, finally went to Canyon Cable and second place was won by All Hallows Park Association. Third prize was determined by drawing all the remaining entrants names out of a hat and was won by Hope Towing.

A special draw was made for the early birds that made it out to the pancake breakfast and Buy and Save was the lucky winner. The day concluded back at the Yale Historic Site with the Big Barrel Barbecue which included the delectable ‘sizzle your own steaks’ and sides provided by Muriel Young of Rolly’s Restaurant.

The Yale and District Historical Society would like to send a huge thank you out to all the businesses and individuals that came out and supported us and those that donated prizes for the Barrel Bash. Thanks to Hell’s Gate Airtram for hosting the Bobbing Barrel Blast,  Hope Search and Rescue for spending the afternoon waiting on the barrels and chasing down the couple that made it to the finish line, Fraser River Raft Expeditions for going out on Sunday evening to rescue the remainder of the stranded barrels (some may even still be stuck in the back eddy at Hell’s Gate), Muriel Young and Rolly’s Restaurant for providing the yummy salads and baked potatoes, Dave at Coopers Foods for getting the steaks, Hank and Erica Press for all your help and support and our volunteers and staff — because we couldn’t do it without you.

Funds raised each year from the barrel races go towards our school programming and Hope Search and Rescue.