Taking on a historical tradition, the eighth annual Fraser River Gold Panning Championships was held from August 20-23, at the Boston Bar First Nations’ Anderson Creek Campground, in beautiful Boston Bar.
It was an even bigger and better event than 2014, attracting 177 panners — 19 more than last year. Panning enthusiasts came from all over B.C., Alberta, and as far away as California and Germany. A good time was had by all!!!
The goal of each competitor was to recover a predetermined number of gold flakes from a bucket of pay dirt in the shortest time possible.
Yukon Dan was the only one who knew how many flakes were in the buckets of pay dirt for each unique competition.
There were lots of fun events for people to participate in, alongside the more serious ones.
Some of the fun ones included the Hand in Hand, Blind Fold, Anything But a Gold Pan, and the Three Person Fun Event. Gold panning was at the top of the list, along with metal detecting competitions held at various times over the weekend for adults, teens, children and the three person teams.
The mini miners, children and teens who signed up for events got to take home a free gold pan with a bag of pay dirt containing at least two gold flakes.
The smiles on their faces when they walked away with their pans and pay dirt was something to behold.
If competitors didn’t happen to win a trophy and a gold nugget in any of the competitions, they didn’t have to worry, because over the course of the two days, the bins got shovelled out into two pay dirt piles containing the lost gold flakes from the various competitions.
One pile was for the adults and the other for the mini miners, children and teens. After all of the prizes had been awarded, Yukon Dan salted the two piles with small gold nuggets and then invited all of the competitors to participate in a “gold rush.”
Yukon Dan would like to thank all of his generous sponsors and his hardworking volunteers. It would be impossible to hold an event like the Fraser River Gold Panning Championships without their help.